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Latest From Ahmet Sevindik
Late payments of medtech bills by hospitals combined with persistently low reimbursement prices have pushed Turkish device manufacturers to the brink. But after a recent intervention from the industry, the government has finally done something to address industry’s calls for systematic and comprehensive improvement of medtech reimbursement prices.
The Turkish Government’s carrot-and-stick “localization” policy has started to yield results with some multinational pharma companies including GSK and Sanofi disclosing joint production ventures with local companies, but these ventures have been limited by difficult economic conditions and worsening investment environment, and the fixed euro rate.
Medical device companies, particularly SMEs, are having a tough time in accessing the local market in Turkey and on being paid enough once they get there. Kemal Yaz, president of the Federation of the Medical Device Manufacturers’ and Suppliers’ Association (TUMDEF), spoke to Medtech Insight about local manufacturers’ problems and expectations.
Turkey’s health ministry has disclosed that the forthcoming $10bn medical device tender must come with conditions that strengthen the local manufacturing infrastructure. It must also give Turkey “real” technology with IP rights, not merely an assembly activity for parts manufactured abroad. The tender will be ready in some two to three months.
The EU has filed a complaint at the WTO against Turkey’s localization policy, which forces multinational pharmaceutical companies to produce medicines in Turkey. Industry sources say the EU may not get what it wants.
Production localization and the fixed rate set for the euro against the lira will be key topics for the pharma industry in Turkey this year, with the expected further devaluation of the domestic currency likely to inflict more damage on companies. Turgut Tokgöz, secretary general of the Turkish industry association, spoke to Scrip.