Exports of Turkey's pharmaceutical products have increased by 16.1 percent from 2013 to 2017, reaching $875.3 million in that the five-year period.
As investments in the pharmaceutical sector, considered as a strategic field, and incentives have intensified in recent years, Turkey's exports as a net importer of pharmaceutical products have also gained momentum.
During this period, Turkey reached five continents with its pharmaceutical products, including provitamins and vitamins, hormones, antibiotics, blood, serums, vaccines, medicines, gauze dressings and sterile materials.
According to Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) data, in the last five years pharmaceuticals exports earned $4.1 billion.
Turkey's exports of pharmaceuticals rose to $875.3 million, an increase of 16.1 percent in five years. In this respect, South Korea led the way in Turkey's exports with $136.4 million, followed by Iraq with $64.6 million, Switzerland with $55.3 million and Northern Cyprus with $30.5 million.
Turkey paid $21.5 billion for pharmaceutical imports in five years, an increase of 7.2 percent ($4.5 billion last year). In this period, Germany came to the fore in Turkey's pharmaceutical imports with $795.8 million, followed by the United States with $591.3 million, Switzerland with $394.2 million, and Ireland with $383.2 million.
Turkey's 100 percent domestically owned pharmaceutical company Pharmactive Pharmaceutical Technical Operations General Manager Fatih Elay said in a statement to Anadolu Agency (AA) that the size of the Turkish pharmaceutical sector is 2.5 billion boxes and TL 24 billion ($5.56 billion) in turnover.
Noting that they export the pharmaceuticals they develop and produce in their research and development center to Austria, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Malta, Portugal, the U.K., France and Hungary, Elay said Turkey has yet to achieve a sufficient level of exports in pharmaceutical products.
"Exporting $875.3 million against $4.5 billion worth of imports is a sign that further increase is required in this field," he said.
Elay said a drug whose molecule was found by Turkish companies is not yet produced, underlining that the innovation ecosystem in Turkey is not yet ready for it.
"We find the localization steps taken in recent years to promote domestic production extremely positive. In the case of national medicine, the involvement of the state is a necessary condition and beneficial," he added.
Elay pointed out that the company reached TL 175 million in turnover and provided employment for 648 people, while they aim for TL 322 million in turnover and 855 employees this year.
He said the company made license applications in Turkish and European markets in five years by developing 101 equivalent molecules and 156 dosage forms.
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