Iran produces novel COVID treatment pill

January 3, 2022 - 16:33

TEHRAN – Iranian pharmaceutical companies have managed to produce a novel COVID-19 oral antiviral candidate, Paxlovid.

Performing molecular synthesis, the pharmaceutical companies could finally produce the medicine, Hamidreza Jama’ati, Secretary of the Coronavirus Scientific Committee, said on Monday, Mehr reported.

“Based on studies by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as clinical evidence from around the world about this drug, the Committee has suggested that the Food and Drug Administration add this drug to the list of pharmaceutical items in the country.

The medicine reduces the risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization or death by up to 90 percent. The reason for adding Paxlovid to the list of medicinal items in the country is not only the use of medicine, but even if we want to conduct clinical trials based on our country's conditions, it needs to be part of the list of medicines to receive code of ethics,” he explained.

The medicine reduces the risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization or death by up to 90 percent, he stated, adding, studies have shown that patients who have used this drug were unvaccinated and had an underlying disease or immune system disorder and used it for the first five days of illness.

If domestic pharmaceutical companies mass-produce this drug, it will save a considerable amount of currency, and it may even be possible to export the medicine, he noted.

The Drug List’s development council will decide to add the medicine to the listed drug this week, he concluded.

Pharmaceutical import drops by 91%

The import of pharmaceuticals has declined in Iran by 91 percent, which shows the capability of the country’s pharmaceutical industry, Mohammad Reza Shanehsaz, former head of the Food and Drug Administration, said on October 11.

Today, all medicine used in the treatment of coronavirus are produced by domestic manufacturers, and if we wanted to import all the items, there would be a high exchange rate, he further stated, emphasizing that COVID-19 vaccine development indicates the pharmaceutical industry’s capability.

With the support of the domestic pharmaceutical industry, we were able to reduce the total of preferred currencies and other currencies used in the country from $4.2 billion to $2.84 billion from 2017 to 2020, he emphasized.

Shanehsaz went on to say that the consumption of foreign exchange in raw materials increased by 2 percent, while medicine import decreased by 31 percent in value.

In 2018, 67 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) used to produce drugs in Iran were made locally.

A total of 227 knowledge-based firms are supplying medical equipment for health centers across the country, according to the Vice Presidency for Science and Technology.



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