Turkey’s pharmaceutical industry is set to become even stronger, as new investments will help efforts to become a regional centre in this field. The Minister of Science and Technology, Nihat Ergun recently spoke at a forum attached to the BIO International Convention, and explained that the government in Turkey is extremely serious about making Turkey one of the key markets in the areas of global pharmaceutical research and development, and also for production.
According to 2010 figures, Turkey is currently ranked 12th in the world in the pharmaceutical industry, and the market is worth $10.4 billion. At the moment there are around 300 pharmaceutical companies operating in the country, giving employment to 25,000 people, and foreign investment is growing. A large industrial group, Eczacibasi Baxter is due to make an investment of $180 million which will be used to develop a new type of drug from Turkish plants.
In addition the government is intending to implement a new pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry strategy and action plan by the end of the year, and is also intending to open two new technology and science offices in Boston and San Francisco.
The government recently introduced a new incentive package aimed at stimulating foreign and local investment into the pharmaceutical industry, and it is hoped this will reduce Turkey’s dependency on foreign drug developers. Another field which is often overlooked, but which is rapidly growing is health tourism in Turkey. Turkey is becoming much more popular, both as a destination in which to undergo surgery, or to recover from surgery in one of the many thermal spas.