"Improvement of R&D initiatives should be the next focus for localization to allow Turkey to compete internationally, as well as clinical research."
Could you start with a brief overview of the company, highlighting its most recent milestones, and its position in the Turkish market?
Daiichi Sankyo's mission is to contribute to the enrichment of the quality of life using innovative pharmaceuticals. As a global pharmaceutical company with origins in Japan, Daiichi Sankyo is present in more than 20 countries, including Turkey since 2008. We are working to realize our 2025 vision of being a ‘Global Pharma Innovator with a competitive advantage in oncology’. To that end, we are striving to satisfy a variety of unmet medical needs as a developer of new drugs, including vaccines, generic and OTC drugs. Our operation in Turkey is relatively young, yet we manufacture 90% of our products locally in cooperation with Abdi Ibrahim. Our aim is to make Turkey our regional hub in the mid-term.
What are Daiichi-Sankyo’s core competencies and products?
Our competitive advantage is in oncology. As part of our 2025 vision, our second product was approved by the FDA in 2019. Lixiana is among our core products as an anticoagulant medicine that prevents strokes and systemic embolism in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (irregular rapid contractions of the upper chambers of the heart).
Innovation being the DNA of the company, how do you balance costs in a high-risk environment with creating value through innovation?
Due to the high risk of our operations and the recent financial limitations to healthcare expenditure we invest in core markets such as Japan, US and the EU, in addition to some emerging/developing markets. Our wide portfolio of generics, vaccines and over-the-counter medicines allows us to adapt to our environments accordingly and balance risk. Hence, our 2025 vision captures this flexibility and innovation.
What is the significance of the localization policy in the long-run for the Turkish market and its implications for fair competition?
We believe that localization is an important initiative for local pharma industry producers and the country’s economy due to the potential capacity of production. Today, 90 of every 100 boxes of Daiichi Sankyo’s products that reach patients in Turkey are manufactured in-country.
In order to ensure the sustainability of the localization process, it is important that global companies consult with the decision makers and cooperate to ensure an attractive investment climate.
Improvement of R&D initiatives should be the next focus for localization to allow Turkey to compete internationally, as well as clinical research. Since 2014, we allocated 210.68 billion Yen (10.769 billion TL) for R&D. Turkey has the potential to host R&D facilities.
What are your foresights for the pharma industry in the world and in Turkey?
An aging population and increasing healthcare needs will determine the trends in the pharma industry not only for Turkey, but also around the world.
In Turkey, we continued our operations with our dynamic team of 80 individuals. Daiichi Sankyo is on the threshold of major growth that will originate from cardiology and especially oncology products worldwide. This process will provide measurable growth in portfolio, employment and production in our Turkey operation.
How could regulation improve to give pace to the development of new drugs?
Innovator pharma companies acknowledge the concerns surrounding the affordability of innovative medicines and purchasing power issues facing healthcare systems under pressure from growing demand. The pharmaceutical industry is committed to supporting greater access and the sustainability of healthcare services.
Daiichi Sankyo shares a common goal with all stakeholders: achieving rapid patient access to the latest, effective, life-saving medicines. Therefore, while recognizing the future position of innovative medicines, we work with governments and healthcare providers to enable better access to medicines and enhance sustainability.
What is your strategy and vision for the future?
Daiichi Sankyo gives importance to Turkey in its future plans. We would like to develop our collaborations in Turkey through all areas that bring added value to human health and transform Daiichi Sankyo Turkey into a regional hub to navigate into neighboring markets. For us, the most important indicators of localization are our compliance with the regulation and reliance on the economy of our country of operation, as well as developing value-added areas such as R&D, raw materials, clinical researches, and business partnerships beyond production.