Serkan Alan / Duvar

Pharmacies in Istanbul have been unable to sell vaccination against HPV – a virus that can cause genital warts, cervical cancer and penile cancer.

Mandatory for pre-teens in some countries, the imported Gardasil vaccinations cost 500 Turkish Liras ($85) each and aren’t covered by Turkey’s Social Security Institution.

“This vaccination is imported, but with cheap medication in high demand, there are difficulties in importing some medications,” said Erdoğan Çolak, the Chair of the Pharmacists’ Association of Turkey.

Setting health-related price policies with financial incentives causes high prices, Çolak said, adding that the Pharmacists’ Association and Medical Association need to be involved in the establishment of price policies.

“There are price policies in Turkey that the Health Ministry gets to vote on. Health industry stakeholders should also be included in this process” Çolak said.

Exporters are unwilling to sell products for low-marked prices and delay deliveries, Çolak noted, adding that the solution would be to localize the industry.

“We keep saying that we need to localize, prioritize domestic medications and not delay licenses for imported products,” Çolak said.