Pharmacists to go on strike in Turkey

Pharmacists to go on strike in Turkey
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Pharmacists say despite the increase in the drug prices the profite rates diminished over time and demand an urgent update in the regulation

Pharmacies in Turkey are on the verge of bankruptcy due to a decline in their profit rates and are preparing to go on strike, Deutsche Welle Turkish reported.

As the currency crisis in Turkey hit the prices of many imported goods, the government in one year increased the drug prices twice, totalling a nearly 60 percent, but the pharmacists insist those measures fell short to solve their problems. 

The tiers that define the pharmacists’ profit should be upgraded, says Taner Ercanli, the president of Ankara Chamber of Pharmacists.

The regulation in Turkey defines five tiers which determine the profit rate of pharmacies and the more a drug costs, the less it brings to the pharmacist. 

Drugs between 1-10 liras are at the first level, 10-50 liras second, 50-100 liras third, 100-200 liras fourth, and over 200 liras are fifth. A pharmacist earns a 28 percent profit for tiers 1-3 but the profit falls to 16 percent for tier 4 and to 13 percent for tier 5.

“A drug that was 50 lira in 2009 is now over 500 lira. Our profitability rate is constantly falling. How many drugs are left under 50 lira now? Most of the drugs are in the fourth and fifth tiers” said Murat Tulu, a member of the board of Istanbul Chamber of Pharmacists.

Tulu said the average pharmacy in Istanbul earned 40 thousand liras a month in profit but after paying wages and rent, nothing remains.