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Latest From Ahmet Sevindik
Aselsan, Turkey's leading defense company, is increasing its focus on medical technology to support localization of medical devices. The company has started projects to develop and produce mobile X-ray and MRI systems, as well as defibrillators.
Turkey's project to launch an online procurement system for hospitals is formally in motion, with plans to go online by the end of the year. There have been some recent modifications to the project to ease concerns of small- and medium-sized local medtech companies.
A political crisis between Turkey and the US has seen the Turkish lira plunge in value against the euro and other major currencies and is having a negative impact on the availability of drugs in Turkey.
A big tender for advanced imaging and patient monitoring devices originally had been scheduled by the Turkish Government for July 4, but it has been postponed, now for a third time, with the date set for October 31. The procurement effort, with an estimated value of about $10bn, is intended to furbish new city hospitals with locally produced high-tech medical devices, but it has been the target of controversy, and there are some speculations that it might be canceled.
In the recent crisis between Turkey and the US, the Turkish lira went down in value against major currencies, including the euro. In Turkey, product prices are determined on the basis of the euro, for which the government applies a fixed rate. As the difference between the two conversion rates grows, companies lose out forcing the industry to search for ways to cut its losses.
Even though the Turkish government has settled some of the sizeable debt owed by hospitals to medical device and pharmaceutical suppliers, industry continues to be disgruntled over not being remunerated for the full amount owed and there continues to be wrangling over how the situation should be resolved.