SHAFAQNA- IRNA: Because in US sanctions on Iran, there is no mechanism defined to ease financial transactions, medicine is practically sanctioned as it is not accessible to people, despite Trump and his supporters in the West claim that medicine is not included in the sanctions.
Ninety-seven percent of Iran‘s total medicine supply is produced locally, but some 50 percent of the pharmaceutical ingredients are imported. Besides, drug manufacturing entails various elements lack of which can stop the production line.
Another factor that should be noted is that the raw material of medicines receives subsidies, but the peripheral material such as packaging is not included. So when the sanctions cause rise in the cost of the paper and paperboard, the overall cost will also be affected.
Sanctions’ impression on the medicines is so clear, that the manufacturers are also protesting the measures. Abbas Kebriaizadeh, deputy head of Syndicate of Iranian Human Pharmaceutical Industries said, the body is ready to form a legal association to assess the damages inflicted on the society due to the banking sanctions. He suggested that the association file an international lawsuit against the US.
Even the financial channels that have been introduced for the medicine have never been useful. The Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), Kebriaizadeh said, has not been effective on medicine.
Patients witness to the medicine sanctions
Azin, 36, is one of the hundreds patients whose health is targeted by the sanctions. She is suffering from myasthenia gravis (MG), an autoimmune disease, but one of her main medicines, Mestinon, is hard to find.
She said that the patients who are treatment-resistant MG had to use the imported version of the medicine.
Another Iranian national who spoke on the condition of anonymity, is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), another autoimmune disease that affects joints.
He is urgently in need of Methotrexate, as he has to take five high doses of it. But shortage of the medicine has caused him concerns.
Another instance of medicine that has caused problems for Iranian patients is Methylphenidate, mainly known under its trade mark Ritalin.
A trader of medicine said, “Supplying the Swiss Ritalin since the beginning of this Iranian calendar (Persian) year has been disrupted as it has been imported with difficulty.”
Other Iranian patients are complaining about shortage of medicines such as Penstasa, which is used for treating ulcerative colitis, as well as Concor which is a heart medication.
Sanctions on medicine against human rights
The second article of the United Nations Charter as well as the regulations of the World Health Organization are against the sanctions, particularly on medicines. Therefore, the human rights campaign in Iran has called on the international community to provide mechanisms for financial exchange in trade of medicines and other primary needs of Iranian people. The demand is not responded yet and medicine is still banned to be exported to Iran.
Read more from Shafaqna: