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Former health minister warns that drug prices in Iran can double

30 April 2013 16:12 (UTC+04:00)
Former health minister warns that drug prices in Iran can double

Former Health Minister of Iran, Mrs.Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi has warned that the prices for medicine drugs in the country can double, ISNA news agency reported.

Dastjerdi was dismissed by President Ahmadinejad in December 2012, because of her harsh critics on the Central Bank. She criticized the Central Bank because its avoidance to supply importers of medical equipments and drugs with official USD rate (12,260 rials/dollar).

She said on Tuesday that if the prices for importing drugs from abroad will cost 24,500 rials by the Forex price, then the prices at the local markets will double.

Iran's government recently said it will continue to provide U.S. dollars at a preferential rate (12,260 rials per dollar) to exporters of essential goods.

Iran's current Health Minister Mohammad-Hassan Tariqat-Monfared said earlier in April that Iran has removed offering dollar at the official rate of 12,260 rials to medicine importers and will offer them dollar at the Forex Center rate (24,500 rials per dollar).

According to Iran's Health Ministry official Hossein Ayati, some 97 percent of Iran's required medicine is currently produced domestically, and about 50 percent of necessary raw material for producing the medicine is being imported from abroad.

Ayati said in April that last Iranian calendar year some $1.7 billion was allocated to import medicine which is not produced inside the country.

Iran experiences certain difficulties with drug shortages in the country, largely because of the international sanctions imposed on Iran, due to its disputed nuclear program.

Despite the fact that the sanctions do not directly target the medical supplies and food, many companies refuse to deal with Iran, fearing the impact of the sanctions.

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