A first overseas office has been set up by an award-winning Wetherby distribution company launched to help British medicines and pharmaceuticals manufacturers export to the Middle East.
CurePharma, which is based at Thorp Arch Estate, has opened an office in Doha, Qatar, to liaise with clients, agents and national governments issuing medical supply tenders in the region.
The company’s founders, director Mustafa Al-Shalechy and business development manager Ali Alshamari, have taken on husband-and-wife pharmacists Saif and Gina Alderzi to run the Doha office.
The expansion comes after CurePharma exported £500,000 worth of prescription pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter products to Middle East countries in 2017.
Mr Al-Shalechy and Mr Alshamari received start-up export advice from overseas trade specialist Chamber International and also met 150 prospective customers at Arab Health, the world’s second-biggest healthcare and pharmaceuticals trade fair, in Dubai in February.
Mr Al-Shalechy said: “We have now two distributors in Iraq, where we made our initial order, and others in Qatar, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan and Kuwait. Our new Qatar office will make it far easier for us to liaise with clients, handle tenders and hear about opportunities for our UK partners. It will also give us a lot of credibility in the Middle East to be able to deal with paperwork and sign contracts locally.
“As both Saif and Gina are Arabic speakers and our Doha office is only an hour’s flight from all the countries we serve, we expect it to accelerate our growth throughout the Middle East, where there is wide interest in what we and our UK partners can provide.”
The former school and university friends set up CurePharma after hearing that Iraqi people were denied proper medical care because badly-needed, good-quality UK medicines were unavailable, or too expensive, due to the post-war economic upheaval.
CurePharma has now completed four shipments of medicines to Iraq, and has accessed a network of 400 Middle East distribution agents.