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Turkey aims to become ‘global player’ in biopharma

Government pledges to boost country’s support for medicines access and R&D
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Turkey's government has pledged to make it easier to register new drugs and will boost the country's research base with the formation of a series of publicly-funded national health institutes.

The initiatives - revealed by minister of development Cevdet Yılmaz - are part of a strategic plan to make Turkey a global player in pharmaceutical R&D and biotechnology, according to the country's Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (AIFD).

Turkey will implement a "parallel application" system for new medicines to accelerate the registration process of medicines in Turkey, said Yilmaz.  Furthermore, the government intends to create national institutes for cancer and health accreditation within the next few months, and these will be followed by institutes covering chronic diseases, mother, child & adolescent health, biotechnology and traditional/complementary medicine within three years.

The pharma market in Turkey has shown remarkable growth in recent years, despite a regulatory system described as "stifling" by analysts at Business Monitor International, and grew a little over 6 per cent in local currency terms to approach $10bn last year. 

As one of the new MINT block of emerging markets (along with Mexico, Indonesia and Nigeria), the country has attracted quite a lot of investment from pharma multinationals, keen to tap into its large and increasingly affluent population and emerging position as a regional production hub for pharma.

Most notably, Amgen bought local producer Mustafa Nevzat in 2012 for $700m and pledged to invest another $30m expanding its operations last year. Meanwhile, Sanofi, Otsuka and most recently Recordati have been building manufacturing capacity in Turkey, and this sort of inward investment is exactly what the country's industry needs, according to the AIFD's secretary general Osman Kara.

Boosting investment in R&D and production, along with the creation of a "consistent investment environment" are all part of a package of measures designed to create "advantageous conditions compared to other countries with which [Turkey] is competing," he said.

The overarching aim is to become a net exporter of medicines, with a domestic production value of $23bn and a foreign trade surplus of $1.3bn by 2023, along with annual R&D investment of $1.7bn. In 2013 the country's exports were $818m.

Article by
Phil Taylor

24th July 2014

From: Research, Sales

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