Undated photo of a pharmacy in Tehran

Medicine Shortage Worsens In Iran Amid Financial Crisis

Saturday, 04/15/2023

An Iranian official has warned about shortage of antidepressants saying that even IV fluids and cold syrups are also in the list of "urgently needed supplies".

Ali Fatemi, Vice President of Iranian Pharmacists Association told semi-official ISNA news agency Saturday that there is shortage of neuroleptics, antidepressants, and medicines for patients with special diseases.

According to him, the government still imports IV fluid from abroad and even cold syrups are on the list of imported medications.

Meanwhile, Hossein-Ali Shahriari, Head of the Health Commission of Iranian Parliament said Wednesday that if subsidies are not paid to pharmaceutical companies, "the country will face a 40-50% price rise for medicines.”

The government struggles with a shortage of foreign currencies while it claims its oil exports to China have increased despite US sanctions.

Despite the warnings, Minister of Health Bahram Einollahi claims that “most medicines are available, and there will be no problem regarding the supply of pharmaceuticals this year.”

In the previous Iranian year, the medicine crisis intensified as people suffered from multifold price increases while many items were not available at all, pushing people to the black market and smuggled medicines.

The Islamic Republic has been claiming that United States sanctions prevent procurement of medicines, while Washington insists that humanitarian aid is exempt from sanctions and in fact, food, health and humanitarian products are not sanctioned.

Iran has been importing more than $1.5 billion of medicines a year. The country imported around 100 million euros of medicines a month just from Europe in 2022 and also large quantities from China and India.

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