Turkish pharmaceutical market is a sizable one where 300
different companies currently operate to provide pharmaceutical
products for the needs of a population of 75 million people. The
volume of the market has already exceeded USD$ 9 billion which
places Turkey to the 6th rank in Europe and 16th in the world in
terms of market scale.
Despite the growth of the Turkish pharmaceutical market in
recent years, the problem of pricing still poses a serious problem
for the industry. Since 2009 the Euro-TL exchange rate which
currently stands at 3.04 TL/Euro as of mid January 2014, has been
fixed at the exchange rate of 1.96 TL/Euro for the public purchases
for the pharmaceutical products. A change was introduced in order
to redress the problem however with no avail. The change that was
adopted in 2012 on the regulation that deals with the pricing of
the pharmaceutical products did not solve the problem but only
reaffirmed the reference pricing system that dates back to 2004.
This pricing system comes up with the price on the basis of the
lowest price offered to the warehouse in Turkey by the foreign drug
provider and the lowest price in the country that the
pharmaceutical product was produced or imported. The frequent
fluctuations in the exchange rates only exacerbates the problem of
This causes complaints on the part of the producers of the
pharmaceutical products and generates problems related with the
public access to some of the medicines. The recent news cite almost
470 different pharmaceutical products as difficult to find in the
drugstores due to the shortages. Especially some of the cutting
edge bio technology drugs are not being introduced in to the
Turkish market due to this problem of pricing. Both the State
bodies and the Turkish Pharmacists' Association propose
alternative solutions for the problem of shortages.
The New Draft Regulation
A new regulation planned by the Ministry of Health is planning
to grant permission to the private companies to import
pharmaceutical products from abroad. Currently the Turkish
Pharmacists' Association holds the monopoly to import drugs to
Turkey. The Council of Economic Coordination which have recently
taken the issue in to consideration decided to issue a new
directive on the import of pharmaceutical products to Turkey.
According to the draft directive the Social Security Institution
will organize a tender on an annual basis where the companies and
the institutions that have been authorized by the Ministry of
Health will be able to bid. The rest of the process will be handled
by the Social Security Institution itself.
Turkish Pharmacists' Association have recently made a
statement that it is ready to play an active role for the solution
of the problem of the pharmaceutical products shortages. Turkish
Pharmacists' Association statement said it is ready to produce
the drugs which's patents have been expired and it proposed a
solution based on a creation of a mechanism that would reconcile
the problem of pricing and the exchange rates to one another.
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