Health Reforms Help Alleviate Drug Shortage

Health Reforms Help Alleviate Drug ShortageHealth Reforms Help Alleviate Drug Shortage

The implementation of the Health Reform Plan has “helped alleviate the problem of drug shortage” in the country,said head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  

Speaking on the sidelines of the Pharmacopoeia Workshop in Ahvaz (Khuzestan Province) Rasoul Dinarvand said the responsibility of the FDA “is to ensure the safety, effectiveness, quality, and security of drugs and medical equipment,” while emphasizing the importance of drug security for doctors and patients.

Referring to the issue of drug shortage in the past couple of years, he expressed hope that the new FDA measures will assist at least partially, if not fully, in reducing the burden on patients and their families.

Another burden was the additional costs of medical services “induced by unsympathetic medical staff.” Dinavard said the FDA has addressed the issue by assigning special committees to oversee and control high hospital tariffs.

Noting that about 35% of healthcare expenditure “is borne by patients with rare and refractory diseases,” the official said more than $900 million will be allocated to reduce the financial burden on these patients, adding that the ministry of health and medical education “is making great effort to help them.”

The Health Reform Plan aims primarily at reducing medical costs and improving the quality of healthcare in public hospitals. It was launched in May this year as part of a nationwide health insurance program promised by President Hassan Rouhani during his election campaign.


President of Ahvaz University of Medical Sciences Esmaeil Eideni said the first phase of the reform plan which aims at improving government hospital services has “proved effective.” The second phase focuses on improving healthcare systems and screening of non-communicable diseases, while the third phase seeks to regulate and monitor the cost of medical services by implementing the medical tariff codes, which officially took off on November 6.

He also explained the need for publishing pharmacopoeia (drug-making) books containing guidelines for identification of compounded medications. This will help institutionalize clinical practices in hospitals, he said.

Behzad Sharif, the university’s food and drug deputy underlined the need for special healthcare software to help oversee proper management and availability of prescribed drugs in hospitals. He pointed to the Health Information System (HIS) developed at the university, which could assist in scientific drug management.