Next stop BIO
In conjunction with AIFD's roadmap, in late 2012 the government issued a consultation on a new "strategy and vision" for the
innovative medicines sector from 2013–2016. For Kemprecos, this consultation provided an encouraging signal that policymakers
now appear to be "committed to a rebalancing to accommodate growth and encourage innovation". This April, Turkish Health Minister
Recep Akdag will announce the final details of the 2013–2016 strategy—including the promise of further R&D assistance, investment
in human resources, and more backing for drugs exports—at the BIO annual meeting in Chicago.
While Kemprecos has long believed that both local and international companies will continue to grow in Turkey, he counters
that this would not be at the same rates as the larger, fast-growing markets and, for many companies, not at a rate that would
justify significant new investment. But in light of the events of the last few months, he adds: "This all could change very
quickly if the government moves ahead with conviction to execute its new strategy." So, after a decade of troubles, it seems
at least that the dialogue between industry and government has entered a positive new phase. How quickly the government acts
on its new "strategy and vision" remains to be seen, of course. But Kemprecos, for one, is more optimistic than he was a year
ago. In recent months, he says, pharmaceutical executives have been hearing the term "holistic approach" much more frequently
in Ankara. Perhaps, for pharma, Turkey is on its way back to its formerly exalted position as the land of Eastern promise.
Julian Upton is Pharm Exec's European Editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org