Turning the corner?
In early 2012, with the industry in the doldrums, AIFD and the government looked to be at an impasse on key strategic policy
issues. But after AIFD publicly accused the government of not doing enough to encourage investment and focusing too much on
cutting drug prices, it seems that the government may have finally taken notice. An early public indication of this was at
the BIO International Convention in Boston in June last year, when AIFD Vice Chairman Kadir Tepebasi announced that AIFD was
"very happy and excited" that the government and the research-based industry now appear to have the "same long-term targets
and approaches." When, in September, the AIFD report "Turkey's Pharmaceutical Sector: Vision 2023" called on the government
to "implement the necessary structural changes" to enable the country to become a major pharma competitor at the global level,
it wasn't so much agit prop as mutual agreement—the report followed recent AIFD talks with the government aimed at establish
ways to make Turkey a regional production center for pharmaceuticals serving Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East.
AIFD's report provides a roadmap for the industry, outlining goals to strengthen the sector's "infrastructure" and "ecosystem"
to enable the country to receive more international investment, increase production and export, make a positive contribution
to the foreign trade balance, and offer patients high-quality service at international standards. It recommends the adoption
of a central research policy on life sciences, a roadmap for life science clusters, implementation of clinical research regulations,
increase of access to R&D financing resources, and the strengthening of the collaboration between universities and the pharma
industry. It also calls for tax incentives for "international life sciences executives," more promotion of Turkey as an attractive
investment option, and new regulations to effectively and adequately protect intellectual property rights. Should such measures
be adopted, the report concludes that, by 2023, "a Turkish pharmaceutical sector with production exceeding $23 billion and
exports of more than $8 million, and a foreign trade surplus and R&D investments of about $1.7 billion per annum, is not just