Iran imports $1.6 billion worth of medicine and equipment
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb.1/ Trend F.Milad
Iran has imported $1.6 billion worth of medicines and medical equipment in the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year which started March 20, 2012, director of the Iranian Customs Administration Abbas Memarnejad said on Friday.
The amount showed a four per cent increase in terms of volume, while facing a seven per cent decrease in terms of value, the ISNA News Agency quoted Memarnejad as saying.
Iran's medicine imports accounted for one million dollars in the aforementioned period, he said.
The Central Bank of Iran reported last week that Iranian banks have allocated 2.8 billion dollars towards the purchase of medicine in the first 10 months of the current Iranian calendar year.
The amount is 400 million dollars more than the same period of the previous year, the Mehr News Agency reported.
Head of the Iranian Parliament's Health Committee, Hossein Ali Shahriari, said on November 5, 2012 that in order to meet Iranian patients' demands, some 2.5 billion dollars should be allocated towards medicine purchase by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2013).
Iranian doctors, patients and officials say that due to a ban on financial transactions, even medicines and other critical supplies that are exempted from the sanctions for humanitarian reasons are no longer exported to the country, New York Times reported on November 2.
An estimated number of six million patients, many of them with cancer are affected by the shortages.