MP: Iran to reduce medicine prices if subsidy is allocated
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sep. 10/ Trend, F. Karimov/
Prices of all sorts of medicine will be reduced to prices of the past year if a 22 trillion rial (about $890 million) subsidy is allocated, Iranian MP Hossein-Ali Shahriari told Salamat News website.
Some 4 trillion rials (about $160 million) has been allocated so far to provide medicine for hard-to-cure diseases, he added.
Iran imports 90 percent of raw materials for producing medicine from India and China, Iran's Food and Drug Organization deputy director Shams-Ali Rezazadeh has said.
Considering the cheap raw materials in East Asian countries, we have planned to import raw materials for medicine from India and China, he noted. But, no medicine is currently being imported from China, he added.
We apply strict regulations on importing medicine from foreign countries. We issue 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 medical supplies and food, many companies refuse to deal with Iran, out of fear of 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.