Imported Medicines Cost Less

Imported Medicines Cost Less
Imported Medicines Cost Less

The Food and Drug Administration has reduced prices of imported medicine.

Rasoul Dinarvand, head of FDA, pointed to the reduction in costs of imported medicines, adding that prices were monitored through “government subsidy” and “fall in exchange rates.”

Medication costs for terminally ill patients are paid partially by the government and medicines at lower rates are available for them, he said, Mehr News Agency reported.

 Dinarvand said: “For the first time the exclusive right to import medicines by the government has been done away with.” Certified and registered medicines are now purchased and sold by companies via tender.

The previous year (ended March 20) saw a decline in medical imports by $350 million.  

The anti-hemophilic Factor Viii product which is free of charge for thalassemic patients was distributed at $112 per vial in 2013. “The product was imported at a 28% lower rate or $87 per vial with a fall in exchange rates, he said.

Pointing to the high demand for Factor Viii, Dinarvand said $22 million had been saved as a result.

 Domestic Supply

The primary task of the FDA is to monitor the pharmaceutical sector and ensure there is no misconduct. The administration is taking measures to curtail imports of domestically produced medicines.

The FDA’s director general for monitoring medicines, Mehdi Pir Salehi, said the rate of imported medicines saw an upswing from 2005. In 2014, imports came down for the first time from $1.3 billion to $1 billion. The figure will decline further in the current year.

Major steps to lower medicine costs had been taken: the first was to sign a contract with insurance companies to reduce medication costs for terminally ill patients. Under the contract, 300 drugs receive special insurance coverage with $366 million paid to insurance companies.

The other initiatives included bringing down imports of medicines manufactured domestically to 5%. “This will promote competition among domestic producers and also enhance quality.”