Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

Pharmaceutical Industry Opening for Foreign Investment

16 Apr 2020

On 15 April 2020, the Cabinet of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia issued a resolution approving the Pharmaceutical and Herbal Establishments and Substances Regulation (the New Pharmaceutical Law). It allows foreign nationals or companies to directly own certain pharmaceutical businesses in Saudi Arabia. The New Pharmaceutical Law was enacted on 16 April 2020 pursuant to Royal Decree number (M/108) of 2020. The new Law repeals and replaces the Pharmaceutical Establishments and Substances Regulation, which had been enacted in 2004.

In addition to permitting foreign ownership in certain pharmaceutical businesses, the new law dispenses with certain “localization” obligations. For example, the "old" law required pharmaceutical wholesale warehouses to be managed by a licensed pharmacist who is a Saudi Arabian national. Such requirement no longer exists.