* By Michael R. Reich and Sameh El Saharty.
The Egyptian International Pharmaceutical Co. (EIPICO) began as an idea in 1979, emerged as a project in 1982, and started production of pharmaceuticals in March 1985, in the 10th of Ramadan City - an industrial zone in the desert some 50 kilometers outside Cairo. Since its inception, the company has concentrated on the formulation of generic products, those pharmaceuticals that are no longer protected by patents, and has sought to maintain its production at international standards of quality. Production value at EIPICO grew from L.E. 19.7 million in 1985 (US$ 20.52 million), to L.E. 60 million in 1988 (US$ 34.09 million), to L.E. 88 million in 1992 (US$ 26.51 million), to L.E. 224 million in 1994 (US$ 66.47 million), and the company became known as a success story within the Egyptian pharmaceutical industry. One of EIPICO’s most successful products is praziquantel, the drug of choice to treat schistosomiasis, a major health problem in Egypt and in many African countries.