An Overview of the Orphan Medicines Market in Turkey



The health policies of many countries and regions have already defined orphan drugs for rare diseases. Although there is no official definition of orphan drugs in Turkey, all orphan drugs are covered by reimbursement, regardless of their market authorization status. Thus, a pharmacoeconomic analysis does not have to be presented to the Social Security Institution (Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu) for reimbursement decisions on orphan drugs.


The aim of this study was to shed light on the use of orphan drugs to aid classifications of rare diseases and assessments of orphan drugs in Turkey.


Data for sales of authorized orphan drugs and all other drugs were extracted from the IMS Turkey for 2008, 2009, and 2010. Nonauthorized orphan drug sales data were extracted from records of the Turkish Pharmacists’ Association for the same years. Government prices were obtained from the Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu.


The European Medicines Agency has classified more than 60 orphan drugs for rare diseases. Of these, 50 entered the Turkish market in recent years, half of which were authorized. The remaining drugs were imported through the early access procedure. Antineoplastic agents accounted for the largest percentage of orphan drugs, with 58% of the total market share. In 2010, there were 18 such agents in use, at a cost of €120 million.


Although legislation is not yet in place for orphan drugs in Turkey, recognized pricing and reimbursement policies are in operation. This situation facilitates an analysis of orphan drug prices and reimbursement policies in Turkey.


Güvenç Koçkaya Albert I. Wertheimer Pelin Kilic Pelin Tanyeri İ. Mert Vural Akif Akbulat Guven Artiran Saim Kerman

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