Many industries in Iran have been the victims of government corruption and inadequate and ineffective management. The pharmaceutical industry is no exception. The daily high prices of drugs in pharmacies in the city and the country, as well as the significant shortage of domestically produced pharmaceutical items, have been the subject of print media, news sites, and news agencies almost every day for the past three weeks. The government’s mismanagement of this industry has caused it to face a severe shortage of efficient and compassionate manpower and go through difficult times procuring raw materials. Persistent short-term shortages, high prices, and long queues of people in front of some pharmacies have been prominent manifestations of the deteriorating medication drug situation in recent years. As a result, the patients and their families are forced to find themselves in high-priced drugstores on the streets and alleys of various major cities in Tehran, hoping to get their hands on their medical needs. Many vital medicines are still in short supply in the domestic market.
Why did medicine become expensive?
Dr. Alireza Salem, a pharmacist, and secretary of the Pharmacists Employers Association, the founder of pharmacies in Tehran province, talks about the reason for the high price of drugs these days: “Some imported drugs have not received government currency for several months. That is one of the reasons the cost of these drugs has quadrupled. He continued: “In addition, we are witnessing a 100 to 200 percent increase in the price of domestically produced drugs. It seems that the increase in the price of raw materials, which was previously subsidized, has led to this price increase. This increase has even gone beyond drugs to skin creams. Currently, we see an increase in the price of these products once every two weeks.”
If we see some domestically produced drugs that have not seen price increases, it is because the manufacturer already has the raw materials and has not applied price growth. But when these raw materials run out and the producer supplies the new raw materials without government currency, no doubt those remaining domestically produced items will also be subject to price increases. He adds: “This issue has also led to the abuse of supply companies. Because the drug prices are rising, profiteers start removing them from being distributed and wait for the prices to reach their peaks. This will eventually lead to a shortage of medicine nationwide.”
Sadif Badri, a member of Iran’s parliament, warns: “: Changing foreign exchange policies (removing government subsidies) in the field of medicine has worried people. The $2 billion reductions in the drug budget and the change in the currency of some drugs from preferential to half last year, according to the relevant officials, caused foreign drugs to increase in price up to 6 times and also domestic drugs to increase by 30 to 100 percent.”
Considering the rising state of drug prices in Iran, as well as the possibility of rising medical tariffs and higher insurance costs, the ordinary citizen of Iran will be unable to find and afford their necessary and vital medication drugs.
Dr. Alireza Salem, Pharmacist and Secretary of Pharmacists Employers Association Founder of Pharmacies in Tehran Province, points to the general consequences of this sudden elimination and says, “During the day, we face patients who can not afford to pay four times as much as the medicine. Some of these patients wait for hours at the pharmacy for someone to finally help them buy medicine or return empty-handed. Therefore, with this sudden elimination of government subsidy, the health system has been damaged, and this damage will continue to show itself.”
Also, a 4 to 5-fold increase in the drug will cause dramatic changes in the field of pharmacies and will even lead to the bankruptcy of pharmacies. This is because many pharmacists do not have the financial means to purchase this volume of medicine and keep them on their shelves. They can not buy the medicine for 8 million Tomans in cash and see it in the next eight months. This will lead to the bankruptcy of small businesses and pharmacies.
The unprecedented and sudden spike in medication drug costs is happening at the time that in a meeting with health activists on Wednesday, Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s notorious president, stressed the need to reduce the cost of medicine and treatment out of the pockets of the people. Since his meeting, the price of all pharmaceutical items has increased by 15 to 100 percent.
Government’s lack of transparency
The government seems to be in clear disarray, and statements issued by different officials have become a source of confusion.
The Minister of Health announced two days ago that the parliament had allocated three billion dollars of currency for medicine this year, and yesterday the Central Bank announced that the currency intended for the import of medicine in 1401 is one billion dollars.
Ministry of Health officials say there are very few drug shortages and policies are in place to prevent widespread shortages, while pharmacy owners contradict the officials.
The loss of social capital due to the contradictory statements of government officials has become an undeniable scourge of the country today. Instead of trying to justify their policies and actions and those of the executive branch, the health director should inconvenience himself and look at the real story of the bizarre state of medication drugs. A trip to a few pharmacies and a chat with a number of people who have stood in line in front of pharmacies for hours could bring a bit of sense to this nonsense.
The subtle belief among the ordinary people is the fact that the government and its affiliates are the ones behind the medication drugs fiasco. In the ideology of the mullahs, money draws the last line, says the last word, and dictates policies, even if lives are lost due to the shortage or cost of medicines. This is the true nature of the regime in Tehran, savage and merciless. For these reasons and much more, this regime will be toppled by the people of Iran and their resistance.
Source » irannewswire