Local drug maker eyes Middle East

Local drug maker eyes Middle East

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Local drug maker eyes Middle East

Karabağlı Chairwoman of Abdi İbrahim says the firm aims to open up to the world. Company photo

Abdi İbrahim, Turkey’s 100-year-old pharmaceutical company that ranks among the world’s top 20 generic firms, will expand to new markets by establishing operations and partnerships with local firms in the Middle East and Central Asia, said the firm’s top executive yesterday.

“We are planning to create new operations and partnerships in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Kazakhstan over the next few years,” said Candan Karabağlı, chief executive of the firm, speaking to the Hürriyet Daily News on the sidelines of a press meeting in Istanbul.

The total size of Turkey’s pharmaceutical sector is nearly $10 billion, she said, adding that the company was open to establishing partnerships with new companies in those countries.

“We aim to open up to the world and become a global pharmaceutical firm,” said Karabağlı, adding that the sector grew nearly 7 to 8 percent annually in Turkey.

Turkey ranks among the sixth largest pharmaceutical markets in Europe and 14th in the world, she said. “We are aiming to pioneer Turkey’s pharmaceutical sector and turn it into a more global sector with alternative markets.” Abdi İbrahim closed last year with a 10 percent growth in its revenues achieving a 7.9 market share in the domestic market.

“Turkish citizens should be more careful about using drugs without prescriptions upon the advice of another patient,” she said, adding that patients risk their health with such actions while increasing per capita expenditure on drugs.

“We are starting a campaign to increase awareness about the misuse of drugs by the public through TV infomercials,” she said. Nearly 50 percent of drugs in the world were misused by patients without doctors’ prescriptions, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“We can direct the investments into research and development facilities in Turkey to expand new markets through developing new drugs,” she said.

According to the official data, the Turkish government’s expenditure on the health care system remains at 6.1 percent compared to the United States’ 16.4 percent and United Kingdom’s 8.8 percent.