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Forbes Features Three Moroccans Among MENA’s Top 100 Healthcare Leaders 2023

Forbes Middle East has unveiled its annual list of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s “Top 100 Healthcare Leaders 2023,” celebrating the region’s “most influential healthcare heads” across several areas.

The ranking featured three Moroccan healthcare leaders, who made it to the list thanks to the size of their companies, their impact on the region’s healthcare sector, their experience in the industry, and the “innovative initiatives” that they led.

Lamia Tazi

Moroccan healthcare leader Lamia Tazi, who is the chairwoman and CEO of pharmaceutical company Sothema, ranked 29th on the list.

In 2019, Tazi began her current position at Sothema, a company that now has 1,400 employees, 35 multinational laboratories, and a plant production capacity of 60 million units annually, Forbes indicated.

The Moroccan pharmaceutical company, which had a revenue of $217 million in 2022, operates in several countries, including Morocco, West Africa, Yemen, Oman, France, and Portugal.

Tazi also serves as the head pharmacist and managing director of innovation at Advanced Scientific Developments, and a board member of several other pharmaceutical companies, including West Afric Pharma, Azerys, Leiden Pharma, and Axess Pharma.

In addition to this ranking, Tazi was named among the five Moroccan businesswomen listed in Forbes MENA’s “100 Most Powerful Businesswomen” for the year 2023.

Ayman Cheikh-Lahlou

Meanwhile, Morocco’s Ayman Cheikh-Lahlou ranked 49th on the Forbes list. He joined Pharmaceutical company Cooper Pharma in 2000, and he has been the CEO since 2003.

The company runs in multiple countries, including Morocco, Rwanda, the Ivory Coast, Spain, the Czech Republic, and Saudi Arabia, with nine distribution centers and 10 manufacturing sites.

Cooper Pharma has partnerships with several well-known companies in the field, including Merck, Pfizer, GSK, Abbott, and Cipla, and also owns two pharmaceutical companies in Europe, according to the American magazine.

In addition to his position as Cooper Pharma’s CEO, Cheikh-Lahlou serves as the vice president of the Moroccan Federation of Pharmaceuticals Industry and Innovation (FMIIP).

Driss Chaoui

Forbes Middle East placed General Manager of Moroccan Pharmaceuticals company AFRIC-PHAR Driss Chaoui in the 85th spot.

Founded in 1965, AFRIC-PHAR the company is mobilized across 35 laboratories and has more than 300 collaborators. In addition, it has a giant production unit making over 12 million units annually and generates sales of almost $40 million per year.

The company has a research and development unit dedicated to the production of generic drugs and has established partnerships with leading companies in the pharmaceutical industry, such as Allergan, Baxter, Aldo-Union, and Mylan, among others.

Chaoui, who became a member of AFRIC-PHAR 2001, also holds the position of general secretary of the Moroccan Generic Medicines Association (AMMG). Prior to joining AFRIC-PHAR, Chaoui worked as an Anaesthesiologist in both general hospitals and private clinics.

The ranking featured a total of 100 healthcare leaders, representing 11 different nationalities. The listed figures play an “influential role within MENA’s healthcare ecosystem” in pharmaceuticals, medical facilities, technology, medical equipment, and healthcare investment, Forbes stressed.

Emirati healthcare leaders dominated the list with 44 entries, followed by Saudi Arabia with 26 entries. Meanwhile, eight Egyptian healthcare leaders were included in the list.

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