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Latest From Ahmet Sevindik
Families of spinal muscular atrophy patients in Turkey are demanding immediate access to Biogen’s Spinraza following its US approval in December. Its public payer is in discussions over possible reimbursement of the high-priced imported drug but the company is said to have shown no pricing flexibility so far.
Facing difficulties in attracting greenfield pharma investments in the production of original and high-tech drugs, the Turkish Government is leveraging its purchasing power for generics to encourage local manufacture in this sector. Faced with the threat of exclusion from reimbursement, some multinationals are now building up their capacity in the country.
Turkey’s public drugs payer has signed a new agreement with the national Post Office for the distribution of unavailable medicines procured from abroad, starting in May, prompting a strong response from the pharmacists’ groups that now largely control the sizeable business.
Having started out as a specialist in high-level medtech R&D and manufacturing in Turkey, Alvimedica has evolved to become a player in the interventional cardiology market with a portfolio of stents, balloons and catheters. It now has its eye on the $2.6bn US therapeutic interventional cardiology market for its Cre8 EVO drug-eluting stent.
The pharmaceutical industry in Turkey has started 2017 cautiously despite a basically dynamic market and increasing demand for healthcare, with continued pricing and cost pressures, and political and economic instability, likely to dampen new investments.
While many medtech companies are looking at strategies to grow their sales this new year, those that are operating in Turkey look like their focus would be on simply getting paid for what is owed by the country's debt-ridden hospitals.