Local drug firm points danger of cheap drugs
Sefer Levent ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
The drug firms’ gain from their sales to the state don’t meet their costs and they buy low-quality raw materials. DAILY NEWS photoLow-quality medicines are proliferating in the Turkish markets as companies keep buying cheap raw materials to reduce costs, a prominent sector player has said.
The medicine companies sell medicines to the public through a lower rate of exchange and the gap has been subsidized by them, local drugs company Abdi İbrahim’s Chairman Nezih Barut said.
“We have been selling drugs to the public based on a 1.9595 euro/lira rate since 2009. But the exchange rate is around 2.72 euro/lira. The medicine industry subsidizes the difference. For this reason, some companies buy low-quality raw materials. The quality of drugs is falling in Turkey as troubled drugs numbers are increasing,” Barut said.
It shows that the companies’ earnings from the state don’t meet their costs and the companies prefer making drugs with cheap raw materials.
However, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said the state had already made payments regarding the inflation difference but they didn’t have to provide an exchange rate difference.
Barut, however, said the rate of discount on drug sales to the state that rose from 11 percent in 2009 to 23 percent, 32.5 percent and 40 percent reduced the companies’ profits. It caused a loss to be made on some products, he added.
Barut stressed that controls in the drugs sector should be boosted because a serious quality gap was opening up between companies. Firms laid off around 3,000 staff to cut expenses and there were also quality-controllers among them, he said, adding that the firms’ control mechanism quality had decreased as a result.