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The dispute with Turkey concerns measures that force foreign pharmaceutical producers to move their production to the country if they want their medicines to be eligible for reimbursement for consumers under the Turkish health system. These measures are a clear violation of Turkey’s WTO obligations to treat foreign companies on an equal footing with domestic ones.
The estimated value of pharmaceutical exports likely to be affected by these measures reaches €460 million. If the measures are further implemented, they potentially affect all EU exports to Turkey worth more than €2.5 billion.
The EU has raised this issue with the Turkish authorities repeatedly over a long period of time without success. The current panel request comes after consultations with the Turkish government on 9 and 10 May 2019, which failed to resolve the matter.
The request for the establishment of a panel will be discussed for the first time at the meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) on 15 August 2019. At that meeting, Turkey can object to the establishment of the panel. If the EU tables this issue again at the following DSB meeting, Turkey will be unable to block the request and, consequently, the panel will be established.
Once the panel is established, the parties and/or the WTO Director-General will select three persons serving as panellists who will then start the actual adjudication procedure.
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