Are Turkish pharmaceutical pricing strategies an access barrier to oncology medicines for Türkiye?

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VURAL E. H., Kaskati T., Vural İ. M., ÖZALP M. A., GÜMÜŞEL B.

Frontiers in Pharmacology, vol.15, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.3389/fphar.2024.1364341
  • Journal Name: Frontiers in Pharmacology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: barriers, medicine access, medicine pricing, oncology, pharmacoeconomy
  • Lokman Hekim University Affiliated: Yes


Objectives: Cancer diagnosis is increasing day by day all over the world. Deaths due to cancer are among the most common causes of death. Access to cancer drugs is a priority of health policies. The aim of this study is to evaluate access to cancer drugs through drug box sales data by modeling population growth, cancer incidence, and Fixed Euro Exchange (FEE) rate parameters used in drug pricing in Türkiye. Methods: Access to cancer drugs was evaluated by drug box sales figures obtained from IQVIA. Box sales data were classified according to diagnosis codes (ICD-10), reference, or generic status. Consumption of cancer drugs was examined over time with panel regression analysis, taking into account variables of population growth, cancer incidence, and the FEE rate in drug pricing in Türkiye. Results: The incidence of cancer in Türkiye was 215.1 in 2010 and 223.1 (per hundred thousand) in 2017. Whereas there was a 127.02% increase in the real euro exchange rate, there was an 89.6% increase in the FEE rate. With the regression approach, there is a negative relationship between the real and fixed exchange rate difference (RFED) and reference and generic drug consumption data. Medicine access is affected depending on diagnosis codes at different levels. Colorectal cancer medicine sales had negative correlations for each variable, namely, exchange rate, population growth, and cancer incidence. On the contrary, there was a positive correlation between non-small-cell lung cancer and relevant variables. Innovative medicine groups such as monoclonal antibodies and protein kinase inhibitor consumption showed a negative correlation. Conclusion: According to our results, pricing strategy may be an access barrier for oncology medicines in Türkiye. It should be reviewing the pricing policy that is beneficial for oncology medicine access in Türkiye.