2019 has been a year of positive and moderate setting of interest rates and exchange rates in the developing world, contrary to the previous year’s outlook, in a climate of slowing global economic growth and the monetary policies introduced to address it. In the pharmaceutical industry, exchange rates, pricing and restrictions remained the main topics on the agenda, and despite all uncertainties, DEVA managed to meet its targets. According to IQVIA data, in 2019, DEVA maintained its second place with 6.4% market share, in terms of volume, while achieving seventh place with 3.2% market share, in terms of sales, becoming the fastest-growing pharmaceutical company in the industry.
At DEVA, we have been working for over 60 years for better health for everyone around the world, in the recognition that access to a healthy life is a human right. In 2019, we have further enhanced our product portfolio with innovative equivalent products in hematology, oncology, cardiology, respiratory and ophthalmology therapy areas. We have stepped into new territories with our products for pulmonary arterial hypertension and multiple sclerosis, which are considered to be specialty areas. As a local pharmaceutical company, we are making a positive contribution to the national health economy with our significantly cost-effective equivalent products, and thus help to reduce the government spending for pharmaceutical products. We believe we recognize our responsibility in this respect.
We are strengthening our foothold in international markets every day, and rapidly moving toward becoming a brand of choice globally, in line with our growth strategy. We are contributing to lower the trade deficit in pharmaceuticals industry, therefore, it is our priority to increase our exports. Our efforts focused on foreign markets utilizing various business models, including distributorship, out-licensing and supply, exportation, contract manufacturing and co-development, picked up speed last year. As of yearend 2019, the number of our approvals in international markets reached 700 in 60 countries. With our Devatis brand, we accelerated our efforts in Germany and Switzerland, countries of reference in the pharmaceutical industry, while getting ready to take a first step into new markets. On the other hand, we evaluated new opportunities for collaboration on business development projects with several international companies.
In our time, where local manufacturing has become extremely important, as we are creating value for a long term and sustainable employment, and thus we contribute to our national economy. Besides our efforts to increase output capacity, we continue our new investments at full speed. As of yearend 2019, our output capacity has reached 578 million units, and we have become a partner of choice for multinationals who are leaders in their respective fields, with our diverse pharmaceutical forms and production operations in our US FDA and EU GMP approved world-class facilities. On this point, last year we signed contract manufacturing agreements with leading multinational companies, improving the efficiency of our powerful output capacity.
We believe in the importance of R&D, which is the top factor for having a strong product portfolio for sustainability. In this respect, we continue our investments at a growing rate. DEVA ranked in 21st place in a list of highest spenders in R&D in Turkey, published by Turkish Time based on the results of their “R&D 250, Top R&D Spenders of Turkey”* survey. In the pharmaceutical industry, DEVA topped the list of highest spenders in R&D. (*Ar-GE 250, 2018)
We believe that a healthy society is the essential foundation for a healthy future, and we value sustaining a healthy life as much as we value treating disease. We are conducting projects to raise awareness on healthy living and certain diseases. We have continued supporting our National Athlete Şahika Ercümen – who was diagnosed with allergic asthma in childhood and subsequently broke the world record in free diving – in her efforts toward breaking new records, and we are happy to be continuing to support projects that serve a public interest, including promotion blood donations and environmental protection, in collaboration with NGOs such as Turkish Red Crescent Organization, TEMA and ÇEKÜL.
As of yearend 2019, we have approximately 2400 employees. We recognize that our competent workforce have the greatest share of our success. We value our human resources and their growth, as being the key to our long-term sustainability, to our ability to rapidly adapt to ways of working that our competitive environment requires, and to being able to manage our growing product portfolio in line with our ethics. We continue advancing with confidence, without compromising on our guiding corporate values, including teamwork, people-focus, reliability, openness to change and growth, accountability and resilience in the face of hardships.
For over six decades, we have been working for a healthier future, drawing on our long history and growing strength as a local, strong and global pharmaceutical company with a global vision. Going forward, we work to provide a healthier future to our country and we will continue to work with the same level of enthusiasm and dedication to offer solutions that address the needs of patients and their caregivers, in recognition of our responsibility as a pharmaceutical company.
Chairman of the Board of Directors & CEO