In 2010, Turkey was ranked the 6th largest pharmaceutical market in Europe and the 14th largest in the world. According to
a recent report by the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Turkey (IEIS) in collaboration with the Boston Consulting
Group (BCG), the country could be doing a lot better.
Turgut Tokgöz, secretary general of IEIS, said that in recent years, Turkey has been far too "inward-looking" to take real
advantage of the international market. "The local market was vibrant and as the pharma industry is heavily regulated, it requires
a large amount of effort and capital to export products," he said.
Turgut Toköz, secretary general of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturerers Association of Turkey (IEIS)
"Unfortunately, the industry has taken the easy route and has been focusing on the local market, which has been growing quite
handsomely. Now that they are somewhat squeezed domestically, they are very much interested in export markets. This puts Turkey
in a late-comer phase and it is not easy to gain a good market share in export markets. The train has already been moving,
but it is still possible to catch it," Tokgöz said.
That is just what the Turkish government and industry leaders intend to do. As the 100-year anniversary of the Turkish Republic
approaches (Atatürk founded modern Turkey in 1923), the government has set some ambitious goals for the country, including
becoming a top-ten economy, fixing the country's trade deficit, and increasing the country's annual exports to USD 500 billion.
Specific goals have been set for the pharmaceutical industry, which accounted for 10 percent of the total trade deficit in
2010 (excluding energy imports) due to a high level of imports versus a low level of exports. That year, the sector's imports
were valued at USD 4.4 billion, while exports flat lined at USD 600 million.
Cengiz Celayir, chairman of the Board of TISD
The IEIS/BCG report suggests that proper measures could boost the country's pharmaceutical exports to USD 16.5 billion by
the 2023 deadline.
AIFD has been working in partnership with government to encourage long-term policies that support innovation. It has developed
a strategic document called the "Vision 2023" study, which recommends increasing the level of R&D and clinical research.
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