Iran, Lebanon ready to expand medical, health relations

February 1, 2022 - 18:30

TEHRAN – Iranian Health Minister Bahram Einollahi and Lebanese Ambassador to Tehran Hassan Abbas expressed readiness to enhance cooperation in the medical and health sector, IRNA reported on Tuesday.

During a meeting held in Tehran on Tuesday, the two officials discussed holding joint conferences in various fields of medicine in Lebanon or Iran, in addition to academic cooperation.

Einollahi stated that joint conferences in the fields of medicine can help domestic scientists to exchange views with their colleagues in Lebanon.

At present, 97 percent of the medicine needed by Iran is produced domestically, and in the field of medicine and medical equipment, Iran has made very good progress, he said, expressing hope to strengthen the exchange of medicine and medical equipment between the two countries and accelerate the registration of Iranian medicines in Lebanon.

Expressing readiness to establish university branches in Lebanon, he said that Iranian medical universities are already cooperating with Lebanese universities, however, we can expand the exchange of professors and students.

There is a need to form working groups between the Ministry of Health of Iran and the Lebanese Embassy to identify the needs and fields of joint cooperation to take action in this regard, he also stated.

Mohammad Abbas also for his part said that we are aware of Iran’s progress, especially in the fields of science and medicine and all social, health, and economic levels.

The Lebanese Embassy in Iran is ready to have more interaction with the Iranian Ministry of Health in order to examine the areas for the development of relations between the two countries, he said, noting, Iran-Lebanon cooperation has existed for many years in the field of medical education.

Many Lebanese students in Iran have studied medicine and returned to Lebanon and have a high level of literacy, knowledge, and skills, which indicates the high level of medical education in Iran, he stated.

Iran’s progress in pharmaceutical and medical equipment

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.

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, the National Medical Device Directorate reported that the Iranian medical equipment market was worth $2.5 billion, 30 percent of which belonged to over 1,000 domestic firms.

On a global scale, 56 percent of 500,000 medical equipment items available in the world market have Iranian versions. In pharmaceuticals, around 70 percent of Iran’s $4.5 billion markets are domestic products and, in 2018, 97 percent of pharmaceuticals consumed in the country were manufactured 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.