Strengthening Turkey’s pharma industry with IP


Hande Hançer and Selin Sinem Erciyas

Strengthening Turkey’s pharma industry with IP

Mark McElroy /

The Turkish IP system has become one of the strongest in the region, but there are issues to address in the area of pharmaceuticals, say Hande Hançer and Selin Sinem Erciyas.

Turkey has become an emerging market for the pharmaceutical industry in the past few decades, and with more than 300 local and international firms based there, it has an important growth potential. The Turkish government aims to make Turkey one of the world’s top ten health economies by 2023. According to Turkey’s Pharmaceutical Sector Vision 2023 Report, prepared by professional services company PwC for the Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies, Turkey now has the strongest, most dynamic economy in the region, and can become a global player in the pharmaceutical industry because it has the necessary knowledge base, infrastructure, and geostrategic location to attract global pharmaceutical R&D.

The government’s plans to attract global pharmaceutical R&D should accompany a strategic plan to strengthen the protection of pharmaceutical patents so that R&D investments are supported and sufficiently protected.

It would be unfair to say that Turkish patent law lacks sufficient legal basis for strong protection. In fact, all of Turkey’s IP-related laws and regulations, including the Decree Law No 551 Pertaining to the Protection of Patents (Patent Law), have become fully compliant with EU legislation and international treaties since the mid-1990s. The establishment of specialised IP courts has enhanced this practice. However, there are some pitfalls in practice and some gaps in the legislation that may sometimes reduce its ability to provide effective protection.

pharmaceuticals; Turkish patent law; patents; Bolar exemption; European Patent Convention