Czech firm sees Turkey as generic drugs hub

Czech firm sees Turkey as generic drugs hub

Erkan Çelebi ISTANBUL / Hürriyet
Czech firm sees Turkey as generic drugs hub

Zentiva Turkey General Manager Arslan (L) and Silvestre, Zentiva senior vice president pose during a press meeting. Turkey may become a generic drug production hub, says Silvestre. AA photo

Zentiva, the Prague-based pharmaceutical company that is part of the Sanofi Group, is seeking to turn Turkey into a production base for generic drugs, Zentiva senior vice president Jerome Silvestre has said.

“Our facilities in Lüleburgaz [in the Thracian province of Kırklareli] received quality certification from 13 countries. We will turn our facilities in Lüleburgaz into a production base for generic drugs by shifting the production of many drugs from facilities abroad to Turkey,” said Silvestre said at a meeting in the Zentiva headquarters in Prague.

Silvestre thinks 2013 will be a milestone in the global pharmaceutical industry. “The patents of many drugs will expire in 2013. This will allow more access to quality drugs at low prices. It will be good for both patients and governments.” Zentiva acquired local Eczacıbaşı Health Products in 2008 before merging with Sanofi, a leading European pharmaceutical company. The company, which is active in 35 countries and reaches out to one billion patients per year, produces in five countries.
“Turkey has a special importance for us. We ship drugs produced in Turkey to 34 countries, from El Salvador to Australia,” said Silvestre.

Exports-focused production

Zentiva Turkey General Manager Şahin Aslan said that the company would make exports-focused production in Lüleburgaz, adding that more than 70 percent of Sanofi’s products were currently produced in Lüleburgaz. “Our Lüleburgaz facilities have obtained quality certification from 13 countries including Germany, U.S., Australia, Denmark. They have thus become a production base,” Aslan said, noting that the production of 51 drugs had been moved to Turkey. The share of generic drugs in the $10 billion Turkish market is 80 percent in terms of the number of drug containers, and about 50 percent in terms of turnover.