Turkish pharmacists association chairman Erdoğan Çolak has stated that data show 503 types of drugs are being distributed only on a limited basis to the Turkish market due to an ongoing currency crisis, making it difficult for patients to obtain their medications, the Birgün daily reported on Friday.
Limited distribution causes a gap in supply and demand, but sector representatives claim that the real crisis is expected to begin in two weeks’ time, when warehouses run out of certain types of drugs and are unable restock due to the Turkish lira’s dramatic decrease against the euro.
As of Friday, 1 euro equaled TL 7.44.
Drug companies have not made any open demand to the government for an increase in the drug currency rate.
There are allegations that the government is pressuring drug companies and has avoided an explicit demand by promising them the fixed drug currency rate will soon be increased.
The Turkish government set the lira’s value for drugs at 2.69 against the euro in February, which prevents drug companies from selling medications at a higher rate to pharmacies regardless of changes in the rate of exchange. The regulation was intended to avoid constant fluctuation in drug prices and make them available to the public.
The regulation also fixes the profit of drug suppliers and pharmacies.
However, the regulation has not been updated since February. As the lira continues to lose value against the euro, the gap between the amount drug companies pay to European suppliers and the amount they receive from Turkish pharmacies is widening.