IRCS: Sanctions hindering pharma raw materials import

August 18, 2019

TEHRAN – Problems in transferring money from foreign banks and using foreign exchange has been hindering the import of pharmaceutical raw materials into the country for a long time, announced the director of medical supply department at the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS).

“With not having the required raw materials, we have many problems producing some medicines, and the production of some medicines has stopped all together,” Mehr news agency quoted Ali Faraji as saying on Sunday. 

“We hope that the problem will be solved with the help of the Central Bank and the Food and Drug Administration,” said Faraji. 

“As an international agency, we have offered the Health Ministry to help them in importing raw materials. They are still reviewing our offer and has not responded yet.”

“The main problem now is not having access to some foreign raw materials that are critical in producing medicine,” he added. 

Last week, the deputy health minister said that the American claim that medicine, food and humanitarian aid are not subject to sanctions is “ridiculous”.

According to Alireza Raeesi, It is true that medicines and humanitarian goods are exempt from sanctions but the sanctions have restricted transfer of money which affects importation of food and medicine.

Sanctions are killing Iranian patients

Last week, Foreign Policy released a report about how sanctions are “killing cancer patients in Iran.”

The report was written by Abbas Kebriaeezadeh, a professor of pharmacology at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences and the vice chairman of the Iranian Pharmaceutical Industries Syndicate. 

According to the report, Washington claims that maximum pressure won’t stop the supply of medicine and other humanitarian necessities, but banking sanctions are driving up import prices, blocking supply chains, and creating deadly drug shortages.

According to Kebriaeezadeh, “Last month, the U.S. Department of State released a video addressed to the people of Iran. In the video, Trump administration official Brian Hook claims that it is a ‘myth’ that sanctions target Iran’s access to medicine. For more than a decade, my fellow Iranian medical professionals and I have been struggling to protect patients from the fallout of U.S. sanctions. We have studied sanctions impacts on Iran’s health care sector and advocated for better responses from our own government. Our findings make clear that the harms being inflicted on Iranian patients are not mythology.”

SJ/MG

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