Iranians annually spend $15.4 million on medicine

Business Materials 8 September 2014 12:25 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 8

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Iranians annually spend $15.4 million (based on official rate of 26,600 rials per each USD) on medicine, Mahmoud Najafi Arab, head of Iranian Holder of Human Pharmaceutical Industries Syndicate said.

He added that the home-made medicine share over 96 percent of the mentioned value, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported Sept. 8.

However he underlined that the home-made medicine only share 55 percent of consumed drugs in terms of volume.

Over 2900 different kinds of drugs are used in Iran, Najafi Arab said, adding about two-thirds of the consumed drugs are being produced inside the country.

Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi, Iran's minister of health, said that every year over 700,000 Iranians are dropping below the poverty line due to medical expenses.

Iran imported 180,000 tons of drugs worth $1.6 billion, during the previous Iranian fiscal year (which ended on March 20).

The medicine import volume increased 300 percent during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad`s two-term presidency (2005-2013).

Iran's drug import has increased by 900 percent since March 21, 1997. Meanwhile drug production in the same period increased 500 percent, Iranian media outlets said.

Currently the semi-state owned organizations share is 70 percent in the pharmaceutical industry, while the drug importing companies are twice more than the drug producing one in number.

Statistics from Iran's Ministry of Health and Medical Education shows that about 89 pharmaceutical industry companies were active during 2011, while 123 companies were involved in importing drugs this year.

Iran experiences certain difficulties with drug shortages in the country largely because of international sanctions imposed on Iran due to its disputed nuclear program.

Despite the fact that sanctions do not directly target medical supplies and food, many companies refuse to deal with Iran fearing the impact of sanctions.