We know that the role of medical devices in the health sector has gained a great importance especially with the pandemic. During this period, needs increased, and new responsibilities were placed on manufacturing companies.
SET Medikal had the opportunity to prove once again the important success it achieved on the day it entered the sector, with its extensive knowledge of nearly half a century, vast experience and deep-rooted corporate structure. Dr. Ali İhsan Şerbetçi, Chairman of SET Medikal, informed us about the brand, the company’s current works and their projects for the future in our interview…

Could you inform us about your company shortly?
Founded in 1977 featuring the of Turkey’s first disposable syringe manufacturing facility of its kind in Istanbul, SET Medikal is a leading manufacturer for Disposable Syringe Manufacturing in Turkey.
Our company, which is constantly growing with its investments, is the largest syringe manufacturing factory not only in Turkey but also in the region with an annual production capacity of 1 billion syringes.
With approximately 150 employees, SET Medikal supplies products to mainly for Europe and many countries of the world; It also has a 60% market share in our country.

As one of the Turkey’s well-established and reliable companies in the industry, your brand is so popular. First of all, can you give information about your products?
Besides nearly 40 syringe types, there are many medical products such as Insulin Syringes, Hypodermic Needles, Insulin Pen Needles, Serum Set, Extension line, and IV Cannulas in the SET Medical Product range.

As SET Medikal, how do you work to differentiate yourself from competitors in the sector? What about your prominent features in this context?
As a company, one of our strongest aspects is that we can produce high quality products that can sell products to the developed countries of the world. We have documented this several times with our internationally valid certificates. For example, our CE certificate was obtained from the world-renowned UK-based BSI company. Another important document as our syringe manufacturer in Turkey just as we have is the American FDA certificate.
Another important feature of us is that we have a production system which follows modern technology.

Dr. Ali İhsan Şerbetçi, Chairman of SET Medikal

How did SET Medikal work during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has been on the agenda of the world for almost a year?
In this pandemic, we anticipated that vaccine syringes will be the most important need for us. For this reason, in 2020, we made new investments in our vaccine syringe capacity for this purpose and reached 500 million units. With this move, we became one of the top 5 companies among the companies producing vaccine syringes in the world.

Dr. Ali İhsan Şerbetçi, Chairman of SET Medikal
After the defense sector, especially with the effect of the Covid-19 epidemic, the health sector has become one of the prominent ones in ‘Domestic and National Production’. As a domestic producer of the medical sector, how do you evaluate this process in terms of production and export?
Many medical materials can be produced in our country. In this process, the flexibility and entrepreneurship of our industrialists came to the fore. Our people gave very good examples of how they can use the available resources quickly. We all observed that even in other developed countries, there is no problem in our country for supplies that are problematic. This epidemic has revealed the need for alternative companies / countries, especially in developed countries that import disposable medical consumables. It started to be exported to many countries, such as advanced respirators, protective equipment, mask and gowns. Our country and our companies have turned this into a good opportunity. These days, the opportunity has arisen to develop a long-term business model. If we can provide appropriate quality products and services, we can achieve a serious export potential in the future.

As we consider this difficult process from the point of view health sector in Turkey and the world, what are your evaluations on the subject, your predictions for the future process and your suggestions to the sector?
This Covid-19 pandemic has once again demonstrated that the Healthcare sector has the most strategic importance. When necessary, it can even get ahead of the defense industry.
The sector basically consists of four main components.
1. Medical Personnel
2. Health Facilities
3. Medicine
4. Medical Device
While our country is in a very good condition in the first three of these, it is far from where it should be in terms of Medical Equipment (Medical Device).
Although the potential to do this is strong, only 20% of the medical materials used in practice are produced locally.
Despite the many support given for localization, the desired point could not be reached. Both the Medical Device purchase policies and the lack of a master plan have a big share in this.
In our opinion, if our state will give an incentive, it should support that product by looking at its production and capacity adequacy in our country and controlling it to a great extent.
Unfortunately, the easy way is chosen when making a new investment. Entrepreneurs choose to produce products manufactured already in place to produce a wide range of products from medical device commonly used in Turkey, but not manufactured by selecting a product.
As a result of this, the self-sufficiency of our country does not increase, companies either compromise on quality or cannot continue their commercial life by forcing each other in severe competition conditions.
The main issue here is not to make products but to be an alternative in sufficient quality and service.

Finally, could you tell us about your future plans and projects, your target markets?
As SET Medikal, we will continue to be a pioneer by investing in our main line of business. To do this, we will invest especially in our employees and add a wider range of high value-added products to our structure.
Our company has a strong R&D infrastructure and an experienced team. In this context, it will continue to create value at the point of new product developments and improvement of existing products.
Of course, our main motivation will be to produce high quality products at a competitive price for the developed countries of the world.

What would you like to add further?
As Medical Device Manufacturers, we are companies that are well controlled, follow high technology and are aware of the direct impact on human health. Trust and preference of the people of our country for us and therefore our industry will take us to much better places.