U.S. economic terrorism against Iran seriously hurting EB patients

May 27, 2019

TEHRAN — Unfair U.S.-led sanctions on Iran and economic terrorism against the country have hindered the importation of wound dressing, threatening the lives of patients suffering from Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).

EB is a group of rare diseases that cause fragile, blistering skin. The blisters may appear in response to minor injury, even from heat, rubbing, scratching or adhesive tape. In severe cases, the blisters may occur inside the body, such as the lining of the mouth or the stomach.

There's currently no cure for EB, but treatment can help ease and control symptoms. With so many wounds at different stages of healing, the management of EB is complex. Protecting the peri-wound skin, avoiding skin stripping, addressing the bio-burden and exudate management are all key factors to consider.

In patients with EB the skin is so fragile and dressing changes so frequent that atraumatic dressings are recommended to prevent further damage, pain or bleeding. Silicone-based dressings are easier to apply and remove than traditional dressings. They also protect the wound and peri-wound skin and create a favorable environment for wound healing

Iran used to purchase wound dressing with trade name of mepilex from Mölnlycke, a Swedish pharmaceutical company. The dressing plays a significant role in healing the patients’ wounds. For the past few years Iran’s Ministry of Health have purchased the dressing and provided the patients with free of charge dressings.

However, since last year and with the newly imposed sanctions on Iran Mölnlycke has refused to sell its products to Iran and now with no suitable replacement patients are facing challenges without proper skin care services.

So far, due to brutal sanction and the embargo on the importation of the products some 300 EB patients conditions have deteriorated and 7 are sadly dead.

The U.S. claims that tightening the sanctions has not affected import of medicine and European governments have so far failed to persuade the Trump administration to guarantee Iranian imports of medicine after the imposition of sanctions.

However, the lives of EB patients are seriously in danger due to the sanctions while humanitarian supplies are officially exempted from sanctions.

MQ/MG

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