Iran to up medicine exports to $500 million

August 1, 2015 - 0:0

TEHRAN- General Director of Iran Food and Drugs Administration Mahdi Pirsalehi has said that the Ministry of Health is planning to increase medicine exports to at least $500 million in the next three years.

“Very good meetings have been held with the Iraqi health minister to meet the target,” IRNA quoted Pirsalehi as saying on Fraiday.

Iraq, according to Pirsalehi, is a good untapped pharmaceutical market where Iran has not entered yet.

He also noted that about $1.300 billion of medicine was imported into Iran from March 2013 to March 2014, 50 percent of which have had similar domestically-produced equivalents.

“Therefore pharmaceutical companies are worried that the imported medicines may become a rival for their products; however, about 97 percent of pharma products are now supplied domestically,” he added.

Pirsalehi said that Iran Food and Drug Administration adopted a policy last year to limit the importing of the medicines which have similar domestically-produced equivalents, adding that the policy which is going to continue in the same year succeeded to reduce the imports to one billion dollars.

He also said that Iran’s pharmaceutical market in the last year was worth 11 thousand billion tomans ($ 3.3 billion), 67 percent of which was supplied domestically and 33 imported from overseas.

He also noted that some science-based companies with new activities have joined pharma industry over the last few years which have been very successful in exporting drugs. One of these companies has exported about $30 million of medicines to Russia, though, it is a small figure compared with one billion dollar imports, he added.

He said that companies involved in pharma importing were paying 10 to 15 percent extra to intermediate banks during the sanctions and added that if sanctions are lifted, the margin profits will increase accordingly.

There are currently about 100 pharmaceutical manufactures active in Iran, he concluded.