Health economist Prof. Dr. Onur Başer said, “52 percent of prescription drugs in Turkey come from abroad. The active ingredients of local drugs are also imported. The difference between the exchange rate applied by the Ministry of Health and the market rate exceeded 200 percent. "I expect it to be a very difficult period," he said.
Professor at the Department of Economics at MEF University and also lectures on Health Economics and Behavioral Economics at the City of New York University (CUNY). Noting that he expects the imbalance in the dollar to have a negative impact on drugs, Dr Onur Başer warned that "No pharmaceutical company will sell important imported drugs due to drug agreements made at fixed exchange rates".
Evaluating the latest developments in the economy, Başer noted that he expects to pass a very difficult period as many critical products such as natural gas, wheat and medicine are dependent on foreign sources. Başer said, “Unless autonomous institutions protected by suprapersonal democracies are restored, the most reliable investments will remain as instruments such as dollars, euros and gold. Temporary money and swap agreements brought from other countries by personal relations are great opportunities for speculators. As the structural problems in the depreciation of the TL have not been resolved, they will collect a large amount of foreign currency from the market in temporary decreases,” he said.
The sale of imported drugs may stop
Stating that the wrong investments made in city hospitals with patient guarantees melted a significant part of the health budget, Başer said that no pharmaceutical company would sell important imported drugs due to the drug agreements made on fixed exchange rates. Başer said, “Currently, the Ministry of Health has fixed the Euro exchange rate at 4.58 TL, which means that the difference between the exchange rate and the market rate is more than 200 percent. This difference was around 50 percent in previous years. Under these conditions, no imported pharmaceutical company will want to sell drugs to the Ministry of Health. E.g; Diabetes drugs from imported drugs are not currently available on the market. Turkey is the world's first among OECD countries in terms of diabetes patient rates. Since the active ingredients in the ingredients of children's syrups and antipyretics among domestic medicines are imported, the increase in exchange rates has started to cause transportation problems in domestic medicines. In the management of Covid, the efforts to manage the perception by playing on the numbers instead of preventing the spread of the disease took Turkey far back in the field of health. 52 percent of prescription drugs are imported in Turkey. The biggest share of our health budget – almost 20 percent goes to city hospitals,” he said. As a larger share of the total budget will be allocated to city hospitals every year, the share in drug purchases will decrease. When you add the exchange rate increase to this, both your budget decreases and the price increases, and it will be inevitable that the amount of drugs in the market will decrease gradually.
will shorten the US dollar supply
Stating that the dollar supply will be reduced because Biden does not want an increase in inflation, Başer continued his words as follows: “Investors do not come to Turkey because there is a risk. The demand for TL is low, and when the supply of the dollar decreases, the effect will be doubled and the rises will be very rapid. Even when the USA was pumping dollars into the market because of Covid, no investors came to Turkey because the necessary steps were not taken in the name of democracy and law. Those investors went to countries like Brazil. Brazilian Real was almost equal to TL. Now, Real has become twice as valuable as TL. In the next stage, when the US cuts the money supply, it will be in a much more difficult situation.”
Rational suggestions have become obsolete
Emphasizing that economists comment on the increase in the dollar from a rational point of view, however, these recommendations can work in institutionalized economies. Başer stated that rational suggestions would not yield any results since Turkey is an economy dependent on people. Başer continued his words as follows: “Just as governments provide guidance to correct irrational behaviors, economists are wasting their time with rational proposals that will not be implemented until that moment comes. There is no way out without an election and without Turkey returning to its autonomous institutions. Since no sane economist would want to work in this system and would not want to be associated with irrational behaviors, a team selection to correct this situation awaits. We should not be hopeless, the newly elected team will have a lot of work, but they will be very lucky. Especially in the first few years, Turkey will rise very rapidly, as they have taken Turkey from the bottom.”