FROM NEXT TUESDAY, medicine prices will go up by 26.4% as per the announcement made by Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Wednesday.
Turkey has also increased the fixed exchange rate by 26.4 % for pharmaceutical products that are imported.
The announcement comes as Turkey grapples with an economic crisis that has hit consumers hard in the pocket, a weakened currency and the general lack of economic growth.
The excessive price hike covers all pharmacy products. The exchange rate for pharma products in 2018 was 2.6934 Lira to the Euro – nearly half the current Turkish market rates. Over and above high excessive food prices, the new price increase is expected to be unbearable Turks, who have been living with the economic strain in recent years with little solutions coming out of Ankara.
Medicines are starting to be scarce across Turkey
Diken news portal has reported that prior to the excessive price hike, the distribution of medicinal products nearly came to a halt. Some pharmacy products such as antibiotics, tension and stomach medicines, some painkillers, and antidepressants are proving difficult to access across pharmacy drugstores in Turkey.
Prices are updated on the 15th of February, every year
Koça held a meeting with some unions, concerned organizations and company representatives at the offices of his ministry to discuss the price increase in pharma products. In his announcement, Koca pointed out that according to the manifesto, they regularly update pharmacy products prices in Turkey. This happens on February 15 of every year, the price hike then takes effect five days later.
“We discussed the latest price fixation on drug materials. Generally, we were multiplying the Euro rate with 70%, but following our discussion, we come to terms with that, from then on we multiply the Euro rate with 60. Finally, we made the 26.4% increase in the prices. We specifically gave this rate because we want foreign investors, especially domestic producers to enter into a foreseeable investment process in Turkey,” concluded Turkish health minister.