Turkey's drugmakers expand manufacturing as market booms

Turkey is a fast-growing market expected to be worth about $22.8 billion by the end of 2015. Domestic drugmakers, along with Big Pharma, are expanding manufacturing there to keep up with demand.

According to a just-released report from CPhI, there are 166 local drugmakers in Turkey, most of those making generic drugs, and 134 foreign firms. The government is trying to boost local production and is providing incentives to do that, the report says. One beneficiary is Onko Koçsel, which is investing €70 million ($95 million) on a new plant that is slated to make more than 180 cancer drugs, including biosimilars.

Turkey's largest pharmaceutical wholesaler, Pharmactive, seeing the opportunity, has invested $120 million in a new manufacturing plant that started production last year. Other smaller players are expanding as well, like Berko Pharmaceuticals, which is putting €60 million into its third plant there, and Centurion which intends to invest €20 million into a facility, the report says.

But given that Turkey is one of the world's faster-growing "pharmerging" markets identified by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, Western drugmaker are also playing a big role. Sanofi's ($SNY) generics unit Zentiva, in 2012 sold an API and drug manufacturing facility in Hlohovec, Slovakia, to focus its operations in Turkey. Zentiva bought Eczacıbaşı Generic Pharmaceuticals in Turkey in 2007 and then was itself acquired by Sanofi in 2008 for $2.6 billion. Amgen ($AMGN) that year agreed to pay $700 million for generics maker Mustafa Nevzat, in a sales process that saw GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), Pfizer ($PFE), Merck ($MRK) and Eli Lilly ($LLY) take a look.

- here's the announcement

Related Articles:
Turkey's Sanovel joins the emerging-markets deal buffet
Sanofi unit Zentiva sells plant in Slovakia, focuses on Turkey
Sanofi, Otsuka amp up their Turkish ambitions
Amgen joins Big Pharma's branded generics club with $700M deal