Iran signs contract to export medicine materials to Germany
Azerbaijan, Baku, July 2/ Trend/ N. Umid/
Research Center of Iran's Shahid Beheshti University signed an 800,000 euro contract with German companies to export raw materials of medicinal plants to Germany, Khorasan newspaper reported on July 2.
"The Research center of Shahid Beheshti University produces medicinal drugs under international standards" Faculty member of the university, Farzan Najafi said.
Signing the contract with German companies happened while Iran is suffering from drug shortage in the country.
The U.S. and EU have placed restrictions on dealings with Iran's Central Bank which is the only official channel for Iranians to transfer money abroad and Swift, the body that handles global banking transactions has cut Iran's banks out of its system.
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, Rasoul Khazari, a member of the Iranian parliament's health committee, said in November.
In April, the Mehr News Agency reported that some 10 per cent of Iranians are unable to pay medical treatment costs for hard-to-cure diseases and such costs have left them destitute.
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, the Iranian foods and drugs organization deputy director Shams-Ali Rezazadeh said.
He added that prices of foreign made drugs which are being imported have been increased by 90 per cent.
The government used to allocate the U.S. dollar at the official exchange rate of 12,260 rials for the importation of drugs, but has announced it will no longer do so at this rate and has increased the rate to about 24,000 rials.
The Iranian people pay 80 per cent of medical costs out of their own pocket, the Mehr News Agency quoted Tehran medical council member Iraj Khosronia as saying.