Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries, also known as Julphar, is set to begin producing insulin within the next three months at its new factory in Ras Al Khaimah.
By producing insulin locally, Julphar aims to lower the cost of the drug to the growing number of diabetics in the region.
"Commercial production from the insulin plan is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2012," Julphar said yesterday.
Julphar, based in RAK, started construction of an insulin plant in the summer at a total cost of Dh500 million (US$136.1m).
The factory has the capacity to produce more than 50 million vials of insulin each year.
About 90 per cent of pharmaceuticals in the UAE are imported.
Insulin is in high demand in the UAE and the Middle East due to a growing incidence of diabetes, linked to obesity.
According to figures from the World Health Organisation, obesity affects nearly 34 per cent of the adult population in the UAE and nearly a fifth of residents are diagnosed with diabetes, the second-highest incidence of the disease worldwide.
Julphar also announced yesterday that its sales crossed the Dh1 billion (US$272.2 million) mark for the first time last year, with total revenues up 11.3 per cent to Dh1.024bn.
The company predicts the GCC's health expenditure to grow from $34.7bn in 2009 to $53.5bn by 2014, growing at a rate of 9.1 per cent per year.