International – EU files WTO dispute with Turkey over pharma laws

Country breaks WTO obligations. Turkey is breaking World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules by allowing reimbursement for medicines only if they are produced within the country, says the EU.

According to Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström, Turkey is effectively forcing manufacturers of pharmaceuticals to move production into the country if they want their medicines to be eligible for reimbursement under the Turkish health system.

In addition, Turkey is insisting on various technology transfer requirements for foreign companies that elect to move production to the country that amount to a violation of intellectual property rights.

The measures are a violation of Turkey’s WTO obligations to treat foreign companies on equal footing with domestic ones and to protect their IP, such as patents and business information, on its territory, says the EU, which has now officially launched dispute proceedings via the WTO.

“This is a clear violation of WTO rules and puts many EU jobs at risk,” said Malmström. “We hope that we will be able to resolve both cases during the upcoming WTO consultations.”…