Low prices impede investment in Turkish pharmaceuticals

Dunya Executive - - BUSINESS - OZLEM ERMIS BEYHAN

Agrowing economy and the highest rates of diabetes in Europe make Turkey a key market for pharmaceutical companies, but stiff price competition makes investment in a local manufacturing facility unlikely, said Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen, chief executive of Novo Nordisk.

The Danish pharmaceuticals company manufactures about half of the world’s insulin and supplies some 28 million diabetics worldwide from Copenhagen. It sells products from affiliates in 77 countries to 165 countries, 22 of which are overseen from its base in Istanbul.

A new production facility in Turkey would not add extra benefit to the one in seven Turks who suffer from the disease as it already imports products, said Jorgensen in an exclusive interview with daily DUNYA in Denmark.

Although Turkey is an advanced market for pharmaceuticals, price competition is very challenging, he said.

“Turkey is one of the countries where we give products at the lowest price. This, of course, is important for a country in terms of giving access to medicines very easily. However, it limits the possibility of investing in the market,” said Jorgensen.

Novo Nordisk recently announced it will build a 70 million euro plant in Iran and a 115 million pound research and development center in Britain.

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