FDA Council to Mandate New Drugs

FDA Council to Mandate New DrugsFDA Council to Mandate New Drugs

An expert council has been formed under the supervision of the Food and Drug Administration to identify and mandate new drugs for import.

The council will comprise natural and legal entities including insurance organizations and medical practitioners, and experts and researchers in different fields such as ‘health economics’ and ‘economics of medications,’ said deputy head of FDA, Shokoufeh Nikfar.

The council will decide on what new drugs can be imported into the domestic pharmaceutical sector, she said, at the conference on “Equitable Access to New Treatments, Right of Every Patient,” held on Thursday at Tehran’s Espinas Hotel.

Officials and experts from the Health Ministry, FDA, Management and Planning Organization (MPO), the Tehran University of Medical Sciences and the Social Security Organization (SSO) attended the meeting, Khabaronline reported.

Nikfar further said the ‘Iran Drug List’ has been updated along with global advancements.

“The purchasing power of the people is always considered while adding drugs to the list. At present, many drugs are produced domestically and supplied at considerably cheaper prices; therefore imported medicine that have domestically-produced equivalents are not allowed into the country.”

“But we are ready to import new drugs that may not be available domestically, and only within the framework of national policies as a drug authorized in one country may be unauthorized for another.”

Shahram Ghaffari, advisor to SSO, said there is no health insurance plan in the world that covers all prescription drugs.  

“Unlike our physicians, most physicians around the world prescribe drugs which are covered by their national insurance plans.”

As to why the demand for imported drugs not covered by insurance is high in Iran, he said quality of drugs available as well as creating trust in domestically produced medicine are two important criteria to help address the issue.