"Eighty percent of medicines consumed in Turkey were produced locally in 2017," he said in a statement issued by the prime ministry.

He added Turkey produced medicines worth nearly 2.2 billion Turkish liras ($600 million) in 2017.

"Turkey has the capacity to produce medicines worth 6.1 billion liras ($1.6 billion)," he said.

Yildirim said Turkey would be able to save more than 6 billion liras ($1.57 billion) by producing medicines locally.

So far, Turkey has been producing 577 medicines.

"If we want a more powerful Turkey we must widen our horizons for indigenous projects," he said.

Anadolu Agency