Pharma marketing trends in Turkey

The following article is shifted towards the current landscape of sales and marketing within Pharmaceutical industry of Turkey. After gathering views from our clients and stakeholders in Istanbul, we share a general view about digital engagement of Pharma marketing in Turkey.

The health status of people in Turkey has significantly improved in recent years. Improvements in the health status are mostly attributable to the successes of health reform, the so-called Health Transformation Program (HTP) with the tagline “People First”.

The implementation of the Health Transformation Program (Saglikta Donus, um Programi, HTP) resulted in social security reforms that were aimed at improving the universal health coverage. The available infrastructure for healthcare industries and the high number of healthcare institutions makes Turkey an attractive location for the manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical products. Abdi Ibrahim, Novartis, Bilim, Pfizer and Bayer, are major players in the pharmaceutical market of Turkey.

What is more, a new group of market giants – Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey (MINT) – is emerging. These countries collectively represent a $28 billion pharmaceutical market and all four will be entering the top-10 global economies by 2050.

The Turkish Government aims to make Turkey one of the world’s top ten economies in health services by 2023 by increasing R&D expenditures to 3% of GDP and by increasing exports to USD 500 billion. Turkey, which now boasts the strongest and most dynamic economy in the region, can become a strong player in the pharmaceutical sector. Yet, the country has the necessary knowledge base, infrastructure, and geostrategic location to attract global pharmaceutical R&D and could become a global player in the pharmaceutical industry. In studies conducted in the world and in Turkey, Turkish Pharma industry ranks 7th in Europe and 16th in the world as market size and country’s pharmaceutical industry has enough infrastructure and potential to realize this vision.

Thanks to the health transformation program, access to many treatment services and drugs in Turkey has led to a physician consultation per capita increasing.

Sales reps use the available promotional channels to educate HCPs during visits. Embracing digital and mobile advancements in healthcare, many Pharma organizations aim to deliver to medical community updated information on drugs and efficiency. Further accomplishment in this practice is to provide HCPs with valuable information so they can therefore give better services to patients.

Patient centricity and beyond the pill strategies are commonly discussed among Pharmaceutical executives. Creating medical value through technology enablement is the main focus of today’s Pharmaceutical sales and marketing activities. Getting the technology right is critically important, but as with most digital transformation efforts, the improvements required at the Pharma organizations go well beyond technology and customer experience changes.

In Turkey, promotion of pharmaceuticals can only be made to HCPs, pharmacists and dentists. The most common activities are traditional marketing channels (sales reps visits, congresses etc.) and many digital channels such as virtual sales rep visits or calls that use clm-edetailing software. Additionally, email marketing and mobile apps are used.

Digital is top-of-mind channel for physicians in growth markets and specifically in Turkey.  HCPs are smartphone, tablet and PC users not only for business reasons but also for communicating with friends and family. There is a big discussion going on between Pharma executives in Turkey; new approaches to promotional content management need to be made, while driving better customer engagement with compelling content.

Local Pharmaceutical organizations in Turkey

Following you can see charts that correspond to the level of digital embracement in sales procedures of local Pharmaceutical organizations in Turkey.


As a result from the above charts, CLM is not yet commonly used among local Pharma companies. Out of 16 local companies, only 4 are using a CLM – eDetailing solution. In majority, they have already installed a CRM system (in-house or cloud-based). Significant number of sales reps doesn’t mean necessarily the common use of mobile devices during sales process. Digital mindset is a strategy that is commonly incorporated in multinational companies and CLM – eDetailing adoption is often linked to the level of innovative approaches that company follows.


Nevertheless, there is an increasing trend and interest about new digital ways that empower salesforce effectiveness. Among the devices that are incorporated to promotional activities, the most common is iPad. Following are Android and Windows 8 tablet.


It’s all about agility. Sales reps are working from their mobile devices, looking up HCP profiles and changing call plans on the fly. Commercial excellence largely relies upon customer feedback—and improving customer experience through mobile tools is a must for HCPs engagement.


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*The above charts represent views and insight from Aqurance clients and stakeholders.