‘Contradictory Policy’ Creates Medicine Shortage

‘Contradictory Policy’ Creates Medicine Shortage‘Contradictory Policy’ Creates Medicine Shortage

Certain medicines are in short supply at pharmacies due to contradictions in policy. On the one hand, medicine imports are constantly being evaluated and are under the lens of authorities who believe that pharmaceutical drug imports should be reduced. On the other there is shortage of supply of certain drugs due to lack of production by local pharmaceutical firms.

This year medicine imports showed a 30% decline compared to last year, but the decrease in imports shouldn’t put people in trouble, says Health Minister Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi.

At present, 50 medicines are in short supply; however the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains that 30 medicines are scarce, but this figure doesn’t appear to be correct, reports Mehr News Agency.

“For us the priority is people’s easy access to necessary medicines and the second priority is paying particular attention to domestic production and reducing imports,” the minister said. Also there has been a drop in medical corruption and any violations will be dealt with sternly by the medical authority and the judiciary, he said.

“The annual value of our medicine export is less than $150 million; we are planning to increase it to $200 million by the end of the next calendar year (March 20, 2016) and to $500 million by the end of the government’s tenure in office.

“We can promote export of medicines to regional countries like Iraq and also to Russia,” he added.

A MoU on biotechnology medicines has been signed between Iran and Russia. In the next six months medicines will be exported to Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia and Central Asian states at international prices.

 Iraq Visit

On his recent visit to Iraq, Hashemi said “an important part of our negotiations was on the establishment of Iranian universities in Iraq and training Iraqi students in the field of medical sciences.

The production of some Iranian medicines has been registered in Iraq and the construction of several Iranian pharmaceutical factories has already started. “We also discussed health tourism, and announced our readiness to admit and treat Iraqi patients.”

The minister said a MoU on fine particles was signed between Iran and Iraq; however the problem is not Iraq alone, and Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen and parts of Africa are part of the problem. Given Iraq’s priorities on security, problems of food, medicine, electricity and roads, maybe fine particles have no place among them; however, some provinces including Najaf and Karbala have started planting suitable vegetation to combat the problem.