TEHRAN – The Armenian deputy health minister has announced the country’s willingness to import Iranian medicine and medical equipment.
Talking about the remarkable achievements of Iran in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak by adopting appropriate measures, Lena Nanushyan said that Iran's progress in the field of health is significant, ISNA reported.
She made the remarks in a meeting with Heidar Mohammadi, the head of Iran’s Food and Drug Administration on the sidelines of the 18th session of the Iran-Armenia Joint Economic Committee that was held in Tehran during February 14-15.
At the end of the meeting, the two sides signed 19 documents and memorandums of understanding (MOUs) to enhance cooperation in various areas.
The mentioned documents covered a variety of areas including trade, maritime transportation, food, medicine, and customs cooperation.
Noting that Iranian pharmaceutical products are famous worldwide, she said that Armenia has yet to import the products, she added.
Referring to the quality of anti-cancer drugs manufactured in Iran, she said, “We are interested in using Iranian oncology drugs in Armenia, and it is also possible to supply part of the required drugs of the country from Iranian manufacturing companies.”
Nanushyan went on to say, “We are happy to sign an agreement to expand cooperation between the two countries in the field of medicine and medical equipment.”
She further noted once Iranian medicines are registered in Eurasia, it will be much easier to import medicines from Iran.
Nanushyan also voiced the country's readiness to hold an exhibition of Iranian-made medical products in Armenia.
The head of Iran’s Food and Drug Administration, Heidar Mohammadi, for his part, referred to the production of biotech medicines, which has few manufacturers worldwide, in the country as a competitive factor of Iran-made medicines.
The pharmaceutical industry in Iran has grown significantly after the (1979) Islamic Revolution, he said.
Mohammadi went on to say that currently, all medical supplements and some 99 percent of the country's pharmaceutical needs is produced domestically.
Also, over 50 percent of medical equipment is produced in the country and they are exported to foreign markets, he added.
Over 60 countries import Iranian medical equipment
On January 13, the head of Iran’s Union of Medical Equipment Manufacturers and Exporters said that medical equipment worth around $20 million is exported to more than 60 countries annually.
More than 70 percent of medical equipment and 100 percent of normal hospital beds are domestically made, IRNA quoted Abdolreza Yaqoubzadeh as saying.
Also, over 95 percent of specific ICU and CCU beds and more than 85 percent of operating room medical equipment such as anesthesia machines and other equipment are manufactured with cutting-edge technology in the country, he added.
Yaqoubzadeh went on to say that the country's need for medical equipment production is three to four billion dollars per year, some one billion dollars of which is imported.
Export of medicine and medical equipment rise
Iran experienced a significant rise in exports of medicine and medical equipment in the first four months of the current Iranian calendar year that started on March 21, 2023.
“Exports of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment grew by 300 percent in the first four months of the year,” IRNA quoted Mohammadi as saying.
Currently, the production of medicine, medical equipment, and powdered milk is supported by subsidies. So, their exports were very limited, but it is hoped that their exports will increase next year, he explained.
Referring to the shortage of 100 drug items in the country, he said: “Nearly one and a half percent of the country's pharmaceutical need is imported. Along with domestic production, it is done as soon as the domestic production meets the demand.”
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.