The Health September 2022 - Page 8

Jardin Pharma wants to tap the immense opportunities for halal pharmaceuticals abroad

08

THE HEALTH | SEPTEMBER , 2022

| Cover Story |

All set to go

GLOBAL

Jardin Pharma wants to tap the immense opportunities for halal pharmaceuticals abroad

BY FATIHAH MANAF

JARDIN Pharma Berhad , a Malaysian pharmaceutical company , is ready to set its halal footprints globally . The company , established in the middle of the global pandemic in 2021 , wants to tap the immense opportunities for halal pharmaceuticals in the global market .

The pandemic has prompted significant investments in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors , including the segment of halal pharmaceuticals . With substantial investments in place and consumers ’ increasing health awareness , the halal pharmaceutical sector and broader ecosystem are poised for substantial growth .
According to the State of the Global Islamic Economy 2022 Report , Muslim spending on pharmaceuticals increased by 6.5 per cent in 2021 , from US $ 93.5 billion to US $ 100 billion , and is forecasted to reach US $ 129 billion by 2025 .
Prof Dr Azizi Ayob , co-founder and business advisor of Jardin Pharma , said setting up the company during the pandemic did come with challenges . However , despite the movement restrictions during that time , the team could see the demand for the healthcare segment .
“ Of course , there were challenges , but we foresaw them and managed well . At the same time , we felt the need to pick up the opportunity , particularly in the healthcare and pharmaceutical segments ,” Dr Azizi said .
With the healthcare and pharmaceutical segments as the company ’ s main focus , Jardin Pharma extended its business activities through various subsidiaries . These subsidiaries under Jardin Pharma focus on different components such as research and development ( R & D ), manufacturing , marketing , distribution and trading , and product development .
“ Soon , we ’ re also going to have Jardin Healthcare Sdn Bhd . Under it , we will have various clinical and medical services at our Mary Eve Clinics and the upcoming Jardin Hospital Saujana Utama Sdn Bhd .”
Focusing on nonprescription drugs
On the halal pharmaceutical market in Malaysia , Dr Azizi said some pharmaceutical product categories could be halal certified by the Department of
Islamic Development Malaysia ( JAKIM ), including over-the-counter ( OTC ) or non-prescription medicines .
“ Drugs or medicines that require prescriptions are not allowed by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency ( NPRA ) to use the halal status ,” he added .
As one of its strategies , Dr Azizi said Jardin Pharma would emphasise nongeneric and non-prescription medicines , particularly under the food segment , food supplements and functional food .
“ These are the three segments that we could focus more on . It is a bit easier for us to obtain halal certificates for them . These segments do not require a practitioner or doctor to approve . You can get the halal certification if you comply with JAKIM ’ s halal requirements .
“ We have gummy as one of our products . The product is considered as food rather than a supplement , even though it is a vitamin . We believe this is one of the segments we can expand further to capture some of the halal markets in Malaysia .”
According to him , adding halal on top of the current good manufacturing practice ( GMP ) standards in the pharmaceutical industry will help manufacturers to go beyond just the quality , safety and efficacy aspects of the pharmaceutical products as the halal part emphasises hygiene .
“ In other words , when we focus on halal pharmaceuticals , we add one additional quality beyond the current GMP standard , which is hygiene ,” He added that Malaysia has robust procedures and standards for halal pharmaceuticals .
Boosting brand visibility
When Jardin Pharma was established , Dr Azizi said the team decided to focus on pharmaceutical products . However , after reviewing some product developments , the drugs under the segment required more than a year to apply for NPRA registration .
“ So , within those 12 months , if we wait for one or two years for the completion , we would lose a significant market share .