Halal drug market seen at $100b

THE halal pharmaceutical market is showing great potential for growth as it was estimated to be a $100-billion market in 2006.

Djukic, president of White Owl Global Services Ltd, a service and
consulting agency targeting the pharmaceutical industry, said halal
accreditation goes beyond the simplified definition of just
ingredients, and also includes business practices that make the product
safe for consumption, manufactured in a clean environment, and in
accordance with ethical standards.

“There is a growing movement
in the world as a whole on finding a way to have the product supplies
that are environmentally-friendly, that are organic, and in companies
which take their profits and invest in enterprises with no profits, so
all of this together is actually the definition of halal.”

She said that it goes beyond what the ingredients are.

said one of the biggest challenges in breaking into the pharmaceutical
industry would be the labelling process as well as dealing with the
prevailing mindset on what halal is.

“To get the labelling
process done, and to make sure that the labelling says that the
ingredients are halal would be a challenge because, at the same time,
people are still developing a way to accredit medicine to be halal,”
Djukic added.

It is evident in supermarkets and pharmacies in
Brunei that many take alternative medication, whether it includes jamu
from Indonesia, or herbs from China.

Asked about the development
of a halal alternative medicine, Djukic said the alternative medicine
market is a great market to be involved in.

“In terms of best
practices, (firms) should establish these practices within the
company… they shouldn’t do it the cheapest way necessary, they should
do it in a way that has the best level of standards.”

noted the growing trend on the use of alternative medicine and that
people are becoming more informed and that they are looking for

“People have found that there is some wisdom
behind some of the medicines that are being supplied. While some people
may be hesitant to embark on it, there is that trust in the history of
it and so I think people will want to move away from chemically-derived
medicine into something that is more naturally-derived, so this is
where I think you’ll find an increase,” she said.

Djukic also
mentioned that companies should establish a supportive relationship
with the government, private sector and the consumers in order to

“Basically, everyone has to work together to support
one another and not treat it like a competition. They should help each
other out and work towards a common goal, because working in isolation
is just not the best way to go,” she said. The Brunei Times