By Sara Rajabova
Iran, which has recently made great achievements in the health field, is reported to open a production line for branded generic drugs licensed by European and American companies.
Mehdi Balochestani, the CEO of Behestan Pharmaceutical Co. said the plant in Saveh, about 100 km southwest of Tehran, has been built with an investment of $8 million, Press TV reported.
The plant will initially produce 12 brands of drugs for the treatment of diabetes, neurological diseases, inflammations and prostates, which will be on the pharmacy shelves in the next two months, according to him.
Balochestani said five more products for special medical conditions will be added to the list in the next five years.
They will be produced “under the license of reputable European and American companies”, he said without naming them.
He also said a series of courses will also be held for Iranian specialists in the Netherlands and Germany for transfer of technology. The production includes imports of semi-manufactured drugs which will be formulated, processed and packaged in Iran.
Balochestani said the products will be available under insurance coverage with better quality and a 10 percent price discount.
The modern Iranian pharmaceutical system commenced100 years ago with the opening of the first modern-style pharmacy by German, French, and Austrian pharmacists in Tehran. Established in 1946, Abidi was the first Iranian pharmaceutical company, followed by Tolid Darou and Darou Pakhsh in 1958 and 1963, respectively.
The pharmaceutical industry is regulated by the government, where the production and importation of drugs is heavily subsidized.
Iran’s pharmaceutical market experienced a sharp growth last year, rising to $1.2 billion. There are as many as 65 pharmaceutical companies in the country, but their operations are basically limited to local formulation.
As for other fields, the pharmaceutical industry also suffered from international sanctions imposed on country over its nuclear energy program.
International sanctions have hindered the trade of medicines, as pharmaceutical firms have refused to sell Iran some drugs due to difficulties in receiving payments. This has led to shortages of some vital medicine in the country.