Shortage of drugs to be solved, says health minister

Shortage of drugs to be solved, says health minister

Shortage of drugs to be solved, says health minister

The shortage of drugs, experienced by pharmacies as a result of drug companies’ stockpiling to benefit from the increase in prices, will be solved, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said.

“This is the most important issue on our agenda, we have a roadmap for a solution,” Koca told reporters after the cabinet meeting on Dec. 13.

“It is not right to increase drug prices once a year. We are of the opinion that it should be at least twice in certain periods,” the minister pointed out.

The patient density, the high number of prescriptions, the intensity of consumption in certain drugs and also the raw material problem in the world are important reasons behind this shortage, he added.

We will take the first steps of the solution in a few days.

A shortage of drugs from December to February occurs every year due to numerous firms that stop supplying drugs in the market until the new prices are determined before the New Year.

Decreased drug production due to no more active ingredient coming from China, which meets 98 percent of the needs of the domestic pharmaceutical industry, the use of too many antibiotics during the pandemic and the drug needs of foreign nationals in the country are among the reasons behind the shortage, said Nurten Saydan, the head of the Turkish Employer Pharmacists Union (TEİS).

The increase in many expenditures from the raw material to the bottle and packaging of the drug, as they are foreign exchange-based, also contributed to the problem, she added.

In order to solve the severe shortage, first of all, it is necessary to update the euro-Turkish Lira conversation rate for drug prices, 7.86 Turkish Liras per euro, and make it suitable for economic realities, Saydan urged the authorities.

“We have had problems with many drugs for a long time, but at the moment, we are insufficient even to provide the most basic medicines,” Şeker Pınar Özcan, the head of the Istanbul Chamber of Pharmacists, stated earlier.

Companies do not find the current prices sufficient and do not provide drugs to the market Özcan pointed out.

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