Upswing in Domestic Pharmaceutical Production

Upswing in Domestic Pharmaceutical ProductionUpswing in Domestic Pharmaceutical Production

The nation has come a long way since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in the development of its health system, including the pharmaceutical sector, said Rasoul Dinarvand, head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Iran has made breakthroughs in major scientific fields, especially medicine, and is currently capable of meeting most of the medical needs of patients, he said quoted by IRNA.

Dinarvand pointed to the last two years as “golden years” in the local pharmaceutical history. “Breaking the monopoly on recombinant drugs as well as mass production of anti-cancerous medications are the most important achievements in the past two years in the pharmacy sector.”

With more than 150 pharmaceutical companies, 18 specialized colleges, over 100 production lines producing over 160 types of medicines, Iran now ranks 7th in the world in the field of recombinant drug production and 10th in overall production of medicines. All the basic materials required to manufacture nanocurcumin are available in the country now, which makes mass-production easy, he noted.

Iran has adopted a complete generic based medicine system and local production of medicines and vaccines has become one of the main goals of the national drug policy.

“We are independent in 95% of our medicine needs. At present, self-sufficiency has been acquired in most medicines used to treat patients with cardiovascular and alimentary tract diseases as well as accident injuries. Moreover, the availability and affordability of medicines has greatly improved,” he said.

Drugs are imported for special diseases only if they are not produced domestically and account for 30% of the total $3.2 billion pharmaceutical industry’s turnover.

Despite the significant development of the pharmaceutical sector and contribution by the government through investments over the past decades, experts believe that a long-term strategy, which is based on a more active presence and role in the international arena, is required.

By providing well-equipped laboratories with the support of private and public sectors, the export market can be boosted. In addition, pharmacists are still underutilized and their role as healthcare professionals is not deemed important by either the community or other healthcare providers, he observed.

Pharmacists should turn pharmacies into centers of providing pharmaceutical knowledge rather than solely selling drugs. This requires the support of the Iran Medical Council and insurance companies, he added.