Hikma expects boost in Middle East health spending

Hikma sales suffered during the first half of this year, partly because of unrest in the Arab world. But that very unrest will end up lifting healthcare spending, the Jordanian company's Middle East chief Mazen Darwazeh told the Financial Times. The "Arab spring" showed officials that they need to focus on citizens' quality of life, he said.

"What has happened is an awakening in this part of the world. Governments have realised they have to take more care of their populations so they are spending more on healthcare," Darwazeh said. Nations around the Middle East have put healthcare insurance on their to-do lists, he said.

So, Jordan-based Hikma is expecting second-half sales to grow. Almost 60% of its revenues come from the Middle East and North Africa, with 30% sourced in the U.S. The company bought Baxter Healthcare's injectables business for $112 million earlier this year, and Darwazeh says he's scouting for more deals in Africa and the Mediterranean.

- see the story in the FT