Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct.6/ Trend F.Karimov/
Prices of 136 types of medicine, special for hard-to-cure diseases, have been reduced back to the past year's levels, IRNA quoted Iranian health ministry official Sadollah Parvizi as s aying.
Meanwhile, ISNA quoted Iran's Food and Drug Organization head Rasoul Dinarvand as saying that prices of 500 types of medicaments will be reduced in the country.
A special budget of around 18 trillion rials (about $725 million based on the USD official exchange rate of 24,800 rials) has been allocated to bring the mentioned drugs under medical insurance coverage, he added.
A major portion of the sum will be spent to provide medicaments for hard-to-cure diseases, he said.
On September 10, Iranian MP Hossein-Ali Shahriari said that prices of all sorts of medicaments will be reduced to prices of the past year if 22 trillion rials (about $890 million) subsidy is allocated.
Some 4 trillion rials (about $160 million) has been allocated so far to provide medicaments for hard-to-cure diseases, he added.
Iran imports 90 percent of raw materials for producing medicaments from India and China, Iran's Food and Drug Organization deputy director Shams-Ali Rezazadeh said.
Considering cheap raw materials in East Asian countries, we have planned to import raw materials for medicaments from India and China, he noted. But, no medicaments are currently imported from China, he added.
We apply strict regulations for importing medicine from foreign countries. We issue the permission for importing medicine from other countries, for example from India or South Korea. Their medicine samples should be approved by the Food and Drug Organization, he said.
On July 1, Rezazadeh said that Iran has increased the prices of domestically produced drugs by 40 per cent as the exchange rate of foreign currency which is used to import raw materials has increased.
He added that prices of foreign made drugs which are being imported have been increased by 90 per cent.
Iran experiences certain difficulties with drug shortages in the country, largely because of the international sanctions imposed on Iran, due to its disputed nuclear program.
Despite the fact that the sanctions do not directly target the medical supplies and food, many companies refuse to deal with Iran, fearing the impact of the sanctions.
Due to western-led sanctions, only a handful of international banks are willing to transfer currencies on behalf of Iran to purchase medicine, which is leading to a shortage of imported drugs.
Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, the health minister of ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, had resigned from her post for blaming the government for the health sector's problems.