Medical device maker exports new technology to domestic market

Yasemin SALIH

After the news of “75% of new drugs do not enter Turkey” put on the WORLD agenda, statements about “old technologies” came from the medical device industry. Domestic and foreign industry representatives speaking to the WORLD revealed that Turkey uses old technology in medical devices, whether imported or domestic.

Association of Manufacturers, Importers and Exporters of Orthopedic and Spinal Surgery Medical Equipment Manufacturers, Importers and Exporters (ORDER), Adem Uyanık, said: “Eucomed data shows that devices developed over the Last 10 years did not enter the Turkish market. The reason is the price policy of the state, which is the biggest buyer in Turkey. Uyanık said that SGK set a unilateral price ignoring industry realities and said, “There is not a single industry representative in the organization called the Medical Equipment Price Commission in Turkey. We passed it on to all the necessary organizations and people, but they say “no way”. You determine the price of a commodity on my behalf. The medical device is a sector that does serious R&D. It’s the technology sector, but I can’t sell the product I export to Turkey. Because it does not save costs.

“Not adapting to new technologies”

Ayhan Öztürk, regional vice president for Turkey, West Asia and the Levant of global medtech giant Medtronic, which has global revenue of $35 billion and an R&D budget of $2.7 billion dollars, also said Turkey was a growing but struggling market. Öztürk, who is also the President of the Association of Investigative Medical Technology Manufacturers (ARTED), said: “The depreciation of the TL has had a negative impact on the sustainability of the market and has differentiated Turkey from other emerging markets. There are patients, the health system is growing, but companies are struggling financially because of the depreciation of the TL.

Highlighting that it has become more difficult for emerging markets to access medical devices due to rising global inflation and rising raw material costs in medical devices, Öztürk said: “The size of the medical device industry in Turkey lags behind other developing countries. . Because Turkey is a post-illness focused healthcare market. The fact that DMO pays back in 90 to 120 days is a positive situation in terms of increased predictability. However, there are some difficulties. For example, each pacemaker currently receives the same amount. Not all devices are the same. We want to continue our work on adapting advanced products to Turkey.

Stressing that the entry of new technology into the reimbursement system is limited, Öztürk pointed out that for this reason these devices are not suitable for large-scale use in Turkey. Öztürk said, “It’s called an A-type application. In other words, the application of zero technology to enter the system. There has been no response to these requests recently. So there is a problem of adaptation. Beginners cannot enter,” he said.

“Turkey cannot assess the technology by lowering the cost”

TOBB Turkey Medical Assembly President Mete Özgürbüz drew attention to the old medical device technology with the words “It is not possible to bring the innovative product to Turkey”. Özgürbüz said: “This is due to the balance between quality and price. The SUT system was initially in favor of the domestic manufacturer. The government gave the same price to locals and foreigners. However, a team of three or five people within SGK now decides these prices. However, health technology assessment requires a separate specialization. They can’t follow that in the SGK team. It is not known how they assessed the price,” he said. Stating that the money allocated to new technologies actually has the effect of reducing healthcare costs, Özgürbüz continued:

“Technologies are being developed to reduce the costs of the health system, but Turkey cannot assess them. It affects many areas, from increasing patient comfort, from health tourism to reducing the length of stay. However, to understand this, the pricing committee must be multidisciplinary. We’ve been saying fix this for years, no results. The teams that knew this job within SGK were dissolved. New names are constantly coming in and they are not controlling the problem. SGK pays the same price for products made of metal and special materials. So why should I sell my innovative product in Turkey? Innovative new technology products make up 80% of medical device industry exports. For similar reasons, foreign companies do not give new technologies to Turkey. The same policy is followed even for vital products. For example, there is no state-of-the-art pacemaker in Turkey. There are older generation pacemakers. Some private hospitals can only offer new products to patients in Turkey.

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