Exploring Saudi Arabia
Is it the right climate for nutritional health products?
As a country with a ferociously hot climate, Saudi Arabia relies heavily on imports to maintain its food supplies. The country also faces a looming demographic imbalance, in which a top-heavy population can rely less and less on the resources and tax revenues of the young. Saudi now has to cope with a rapidly accumulating burden of disease related to population aging, westernised diets and more sedentary lifestyles. Sharp increases in cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis and other age-associated conditions, as well as surging levels of obesity and diabetes all give cause for alarm. Around 57% of men and 61% of women in Saudi are considered overweight or obese and around 3.8 million adults in the region are living with diabetes.
What to Consider When Conducting Patient Research in Saudi Arabia
The need to understand the patient as a key stakeholder is now recognized by pharma across the globe.
Conducting market research with patients in any market can be a challenge, requiring sensitivity and consideration for language, culture, religion, as well as for other emotional, behavioral and environmental factors that might impact patients’ behavior.
In The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), where religion and culture are central to society and there are strict laws governing behavior, patient research can be uniquely challenging. However, as the fastest growing pharma market in the Middle East, it is critical that those who want to leverage opportunities in this Arab state understand patient needs and behavior. In this article, we will outline the factors to consider when designing a patient research program, based on our experience and knowledge of the region.