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Blogs, Healthcare

Pharmaceuticals in frontier markets: Part 4 - Libya

By Diligencia
18 January 2021

In the fourth and final article of our series of blogs looking at the pharmaceutical industry in four frontier markets, we look at how Libya is meeting demand for healthcare products.

Libya’s economic and social infrastructure has seen widespread and severe damage since the revolution in 2011, and the country’s healthcare system has been no exception.  Hospitals, clinics and pharmaceutical supply chains have never had a chance to recover amidst the continued emergencies caused by the ongoing civil conflict.  The result is that today many local pharmaceutical manufacturers have ceased production and nearly all healthcare demand is met by imports from international medical suppliers.  Nonetheless rigorous policy guidelines are in place and strict criteria must be met as part of the selection process for both the public and private sectors.

Regulatory regime – Libya’s Ministry of Health is the main regulator for the pharmaceutical industry in the country and establishes regulations to control drug circulation and governs medical practice and other healthcare professions. The distribution of medicine is managed by both public wholesalers and private companies.

Size of market – in the absence of local medicine production, the value of pharmaceutical imports was estimated at US$104,076.195 in 20181 and is expected to rise considerably by 2021.



Infographic showing  pharmaceutical market stats in Libya

Data as of 2018. Source: Ministry of Health2

Key players – public hospitals are supplied by the Ministry of Health through the Medical Supply Organization (MSO), the centralised state body for purchasing medicine, while private sales are dominated by large local companies, acting as distribution agents for the well-known multinational pharmaceutical firms. Listed below are the key local agents, and the international suppliers they work with, together with links to their profiles on


Local agent International company Country  of import
Al Dawlia for Import of Pharmaceuticals and Medical Equipment SAL AstraZeneca UK Limited UK
Alfa for Importing Pharmaceuticals and Medical Equipment SAL Ferring International Center SA Switzerland
North Africa Medical Necessities and Medical Equipment Import Company Ltd Medtronic PLC UK
Alalama Company Adelco-Chromatourgia Athinon e Colocotronis Bros SA Greece


Unlike other post-conflict countries, Libya has the natural and financial resources to rebound quickly as and when its political difficulties are resolved.  As with the healthcare market in Sudan, the country is also tipped to be part of the strong growth story for healthcare across the African continent in the years to come3.

Rapid urbanisation and improving healthcare infrastructure in the Middle East & Africa are creating strong demand for higher standards of treatment – all against the backdrop of acute local needs caused by conflict, lack of local capacity and healthcare issues specific to the region such as the diabetes epidemic in the Middle East.

As this series has shown, successful market entry strategies in Iran, Syria, Sudan and Libya have two common elements: understanding the market and selecting the right local partner.  Underpinning both success factors is the ability to draw on trusted market insight, entity data and corporate intelligence that ultimately contribute to a detailed and robust due diligence process.

For those pharmaceutical providers who are willing to invest in the research and relationships required to succeed – and who have the stomach for the risk – we believe that frontier and developing markets in the region offer significant opportunities for growth in the years to come.


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Diligencia provides extensive coverage of the pharmaceutical sector throughout the Middle East & Africa, both in the form of entity data for pharmaceutical companies in each jurisdiction, available via, as well as detailed market insight reports prepared by our expert analysts. Please contact usfor more information.


  1. CEIC Libya Imports: Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Product
  2. Ministry of Health, Facebook
  3. McKinsey & Company - Africa: A continent of opportunity for pharma and patients
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Diligencia provides specialist business intelligence and due diligence services based exclusively on primary sources in the Middle East & Africa.

More about what we do