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Latest From Ahmet Sevindik
Turkey’s health ministry has disclosed that a local university is close to successfully developing what it believes is the world’s first vaccine against Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, under a 2015 collaboration with the Cuban government. But other efforts to build domestic vaccine production capacity are largely stalled over tender concerns.
Turkey has agreed to provide the high-priced spinal muscular atrophy drug Spinraza for free to up to 20 children, but has so far not been able to reach an agreement with the producer to procure the drug at a reduced price or add it to the reimbursement list.
The president of Turkey has announced a plan for the cost of all cancer drugs to be paid by the government without any contribution from patients, including products licensed for different indications but which might be used off-label. But the move would add to an already rising bill and seems to go against an established trend of cost control.
A major local pharmaceutical industry group in Turkey is leading the formation of a new biotechnology platform that will focus on lobbying the government to create a more friendly investment environment, and promote joint projects and training. Given ongoing official moves to attract investments in the pharma and biotech field, the initiative appears to align well with broader existing policies.
Turkey's public health care payor has increased reimbursement prices of over 160 medical devices, the first time in almost 10 years. It has also eased the reimbursement process for patients to increase their access to medical products.
As Turkey’s City Hospitals project goes underway, with the first few hospitals already up and running, big medtech players are swooping down to capitalize on this opportunity which promise to boost the Turkish market by up to TRY2bn. However, intense competition, as well as basic problems that had been plaguing companies operating in that country, persists and still needs to be resolved.