Turkey’s medicine crisis deepens

Turkey’s medicine crisis appears to be deepening, with reports that around 417 medicines have been unavailable since the beginning of 2019, and that 20% of patients are returning empty-handed from pharmacies. Of particular concern are reports of shortages in insulin and blood pressure medication.

This shortage has been caused by the persisting economic crisis and undervaluation of the lira, and has been compounded by the Ministry of Health’s failure to amend reimbursement prices indexed to a fixed lira-euro exchange rate, which is becoming increasingly disparate from market prices:

“At the beginning of 2018… the rate was fixed at 2.69 liras for the year. Yet, following the currency turmoil that shook the country in the ensuing months, the price of the euro stands at about 5.95 liras today.”

As a result, pharmaceutical companies are curbing their supplies in the hope of wholesale or individual price rises, however there are no signs of forthcoming change. Turkey’s heavy reliance upon pharmaceutical imports leaves it particularly vulnerable in this situation.

For further information, please see the original news report here.

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Published 1. March 2019 in News, News Turkey