Health care in Iran

Health care in Iran

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Health care in Iran and medical sector's market value was almost US $24 billion in 2002 and was forecast to rise to US $31 billion by 2007. With a population of almost 70 million, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 is one of the most populous countries in the Middle East. The country faces the common problem of other young demographic nations
Demographics of Iran
Iran's population increased dramatically during the later half of the 20th century, reaching about 75 million by 2011. In recent years, however, Iran's birth rate has dropped significantly. Studies project that Iran's rate of population growth will continue to slow until it stabilizes above 100...

 in the region, which is keeping pace with growth of an already huge demand for various public services. The young population will soon be old enough to start new families, which will boost the population growth rate and subsequently the need for public health
Public health
Public health is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals" . It is concerned with threats to health based on population health...

 infrastructure
Infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

s and services. Total healthcare spending is expected to rise from $24.3 billion in 2008, to $50 billion by 2013, reflecting the increasing demand on medical services. Total health spending was equivalent to 4.2% of GDP in Iran in 2005. 73% of all Iranians have health care
Health care
Health care is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers...

 coverage.

The World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

 in the last report on health systems ranks Iran's performance on health level 58th, and its overall health system performance 93rd among the world's nations. The health status of Iranians has improved over the last two decades. Iran has been able to extend public health preventive services
Preventive medicine
Preventive medicine or preventive care refers to measures taken to prevent diseases, rather than curing them or treating their symptoms...

 through the establishment of an extensive Primary Health Care Network
Primary Health Centre
The Primary Health Centre is the basic structural and functional unit of the public health services in developing countries. PHCs were established to provide accessible, affordable and available primary health care to people, in accordance with the Alma Ata Declaration of 1978 by the member...

. As a result child and maternal mortality rates have fallen significantly, and life expectancy at birth has risen remarkably. Infant (IMR) and under-five (U5MR) mortality have decreased to 28.6 and 35.6 per 1,000 live births respectively in 2000, compared to an IMR of 122 per 1,000 and a U5MR of 191 per 1,000 in 1970. Immunization
Immunization
Immunization, or immunisation, is the process by which an individual's immune system becomes fortified against an agent ....

 of children is accessible to most of the urban and rural population.

Health services



IRAN: Healthcare (Source: EIU) 2005 2006 2007
Life expectancy, average (years) 70.0 70.3 70.6
Healthcare spending (% of GDP) 4.2 4.2 4.2
Healthcare spending (US$ per head) 113 132 150

Coverage



The constitution entitles Iranians to basic health care, and most receive subsidized prescription drugs
DRUGS
Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows are an American post-hardcore band formed in 2010. They released their debut self-titled album on February 22, 2011.- Formation :...

 and vaccination
Vaccination
Vaccination is the administration of antigenic material to stimulate the immune system of an individual to develop adaptive immunity to a disease. Vaccines can prevent or ameliorate the effects of infection by many pathogens...

 programs. An extensive network of public clinics offers basic care at low cost, and general and specialty hospitals operated by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education
Ministry of Health and Medical Education
The Ministry of Health and Medical Education has executive responsibility for health and medical education within the Iranian government.Iran's health system is highly centralized, and almost all decisions regarding general...

 (MOHME) provide higher levels of care. In most large cities, well-to-do persons use private clinics and hospitals that charge high fees. About 73% of all Iranian workers have health care
Health care
Health care is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers...

 and social security
Social security
Social security is primarily a social insurance program providing social protection or protection against socially recognized conditions, including poverty, old age, disability, unemployment and others. Social security may refer to:...

 coverage. In 2000, 94% of the population could access local health services, according to the WHO
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

. Access ranged from 86% in rural areas to 100% in urban areas. Between 80% and 94% of the population could access affordable essential medicines in 1999. Since 2009, a new government plan called "the comprehensive insurance plan" provides basic coverage to all Iranians.

Workforce


Iran has been very successful in training/educating the necessary human resources for its health system. The system of almost 30 years ago where the country was facing a shortage of all kinds of skilled personnel in the health and medical sector has been completely changed into one in which the necessary professionals now completely suffice the country’s needs. There are now 488 government funded hospitals in Iran. There were 0.5-1.1 physician
Physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

s per 1000 population in 2004 according to various estimates (about 46 percent of physicians were women).

Health network


Today the largest healthcare delivery network is owned and run by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education
Ministry of Health and Medical Education
The Ministry of Health and Medical Education has executive responsibility for health and medical education within the Iranian government.Iran's health system is highly centralized, and almost all decisions regarding general...

 (MOHME) through its network of health establishments and medical schools in the country. MOHME is in charge of provision of healthcare services through its network, medical insurance, medical education
Medical education
Medical education is education related to the practice of being a medical practitioner, either the initial training to become a doctor or additional training thereafter ....

, supervision and regulation of the healthcare system in the country, policymaking, production and distribution of pharmaceuticals, and research and development. Additionally, there are other parallel organisations such as Medical Services Insurance Organizations (MSIO) that have been established to act as a relief foundation as well as an insurance
Insurance
In law and economics, insurance is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment. An insurer is a company selling the...

 firm. Some hospitals, such as Mahak
Mahak
The Mahak Society to Support Children with Cancer is a non-governmental organisation in Tehran dedicated to helping Iranian children with cancer. It runs an 18000 sq m hospital in the north of Tehran. - Foundation of MAHAK :...

 for children's cancer, are run by charitable foundations.

According to the last census that Statistical Centre of Iran undertook in 2003, Iran possesses 730 medical establishments (e.g. hospitals, clinics) with a total of 110,797 bed
Bed
A bed is a large piece of furniture used as a place to sleep, relax, or engage in sexual relations.Most modern beds consist of a mattress on a bed frame, with the mattress resting either on a solid base, often wooden slats, or a sprung base...

s, of which 488 (77,300 beds) are directly affiliated and run by the MOHME and 120 (11,301 beds) owned by the private sector and the rest belong to other organisations, such as the Social Security Organization of Iran (SSO)
Social Security Organization (Iran)
Social Security Organization is a social insurer organization in Iran which provides coverage of wage-earners and salaried workers as well as voluntary coverage of self-employed persons...

. There were about seven nurses and 17 hospital beds per 10,000 population.

An elaborate system of health network has been established which has ensured provision of Primary Health Care
Primary Health Centre
The Primary Health Centre is the basic structural and functional unit of the public health services in developing countries. PHCs were established to provide accessible, affordable and available primary health care to people, in accordance with the Alma Ata Declaration of 1978 by the member...

 (PHC) to the vast majority of public. However, access and availability
Availability
In telecommunications and reliability theory, the term availability has the following meanings:* The degree to which a system, subsystem, or equipment is in a specified operable and committable state at the start of a mission, when the mission is called for at an unknown, i.e., a random, time...

 of health care continues to be somewhat limited in lesser developed provinces
Provinces of Iran
Iran is subdivided into thirty one provinces , each governed from a local center, usually the largest local city, which is called the capital of that province...

 where the health indices are also lower as compared to national averages. The country is in an epidemiologic transition and faces double burden of the diseases. New emerging threats should also be considered. The demographic and epidemiological transition underway will have a significant effect on the pattern of morbidity and mortality
Death
Death is the permanent termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include old age, predation, malnutrition, disease, and accidents or trauma resulting in terminal injury....

 in the near and distance future, especially as it affects the emergence of chronic
Chronic (medicine)
A chronic disease is a disease or other human health condition that is persistent or long-lasting in nature. The term chronic is usually applied when the course of the disease lasts for more than three months. Common chronic diseases include asthma, cancer, diabetes and HIV/AIDS.In medicine, the...

 non-communicable diseases and the health problems of an aging population.

Development



Although overall improvements have been achieved in all health areas since the 1979 revolution, the present challenging economic conditions of the country, combined with rapid advances in medical technology and information technology
Information technology
Information technology is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications...

, individuals’ expectations, and the young demographic
Demographics of Iran
Iran's population increased dramatically during the later half of the 20th century, reaching about 75 million by 2011. In recent years, however, Iran's birth rate has dropped significantly. Studies project that Iran's rate of population growth will continue to slow until it stabilizes above 100...

 of the population will undoubtedly challenge the sustainability of past improving trends. Moreover there is a considerable variation in the human development index
Human Development Index
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries...

 and the human poverty index across different provinces in the country. Iran will invest 2.5 billion dollars in the country's stem cell research over the next five years (2008–2013).

Water and sanitation



Iran has one of the highest percentages of population in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 with access to safe drinking water
Drinking water
Drinking water or potable water is water pure enough to be consumed or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm. In most developed countries, the water supplied to households, commerce and industry is all of drinking water standard, even though only a very small proportion is actually...

, with an esimated 92% of its people enjoying such access (nearly 100% in urban areas and about 80% in rural areas as of 2007).

There is a considerable shortfall in wastewater treatment
Wastewater Treatment
Wastewater treatment may refer to:* Sewage treatment* Industrial wastewater treatment...

; for example, in Tehran the majority of the population has no wastewater treatment, with raw sewage
Sewage
Sewage is water-carried waste, in solution or suspension, that is intended to be removed from a community. Also known as wastewater, it is more than 99% water and is characterized by volume or rate of flow, physical condition, chemical constituents and the bacteriological organisms that it contains...

 being injected directly into the groundwater
Groundwater
Groundwater is water located beneath the ground surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations. A unit of rock or an unconsolidated deposit is called an aquifer when it can yield a usable quantity of water. The depth at which soil pore spaces or fractures and voids in rock...

. As the water crisis
Water crisis
Water crisis is a general term used to describe a situation where the available water within a region is less than the region's demand. The term has been used to describe the availability of potable water in a variety of regions by the United Nations and other world organizations...

 deepens with an expanding population
Overpopulation
Overpopulation is a condition where an organism's numbers exceed the carrying capacity of its habitat. The term often refers to the relationship between the human population and its environment, the Earth...

, this pollution
Pollution
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light...

 of groundwater causes increasing health risks.

Nutrition



Serious attention to the nutritional status of Iranian people has been made since Institute of Nutrition and Food Science of Iran (INFSI) was established by Dr. Habibollah Hedayat
Habibollah Hedayat
Dr. Habibollah Hedayat , known as the father of modern nutrition sciences of Iran, is the founder of the Institute of Nutrition and Food Science of Iran...

 in 1961. Despite the fact that Iran consists of an agrarian economy, there is a high degree of malnutrition
Malnutrition
Malnutrition is the condition that results from taking an unbalanced diet in which certain nutrients are lacking, in excess , or in the wrong proportions....

 within the country. Approximately one fourth of all young children have stunted
Stunted growth
Stunted growth is a reduced growth rate in human development. It is a primary manifestation of malnutrition in early childhood, including malnutrition during fetal development brought on by the malnourished mother. In developing countries, stunted growth is a common problem affecting a large...

 or wasted growth characteristics due to undernourishment; moreover, as an indicator of the poor food distribution
Food distribution
Food distribution, a method of distributing or transporting food or drink from one place to another, is a very important factor in public nutrition. Where it breaks down, famine, malnutrition or illness can occur...

 capability, the percentage of undernourished children in village
Village
A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand , Though often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighbourhoods, such as the West Village in Manhattan, New...

s is much higher.

As an additional measure of public health
Public health
Public health is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals" . It is concerned with threats to health based on population health...

 and inefficient food distribution, about thirteen percent of the young people are classified as obese, according to the same United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 FAO
Fão
Fão is a town in Esposende Municipality in Portugal....

 sources. According to the government of Iran, about 60 percent of Iranians are overweight
Overweight
Overweight is generally defined as having more body fat than is optimally healthy. Being overweight is a common condition, especially where food supplies are plentiful and lifestyles are sedentary...

 and 35 percent of women and 15 percent of men suffer from obesity
Obesity
Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems...

 in Iran.

The Codex Commission of Food Stuff, established in 2002 is in charge of setting and developing standards and quality and health regulations, related to the production of and trade in raw agricultural products and food stuffs, in accordance with the different global standards.

The soft drink
Soft drink
A soft drink is a non-alcoholic beverage that typically contains water , a sweetener, and a flavoring agent...

s industry is valued at about $2 billion a year. Today, Iran produces about 3 billion litters of different types of soft drinks to address consumption per capita of 46 litters, and export more than 12% of its production. Increased awareness with regards to the damages of carbonated drinks and sugar, and high levels of diabetes has created a move towards healthier products.

Cholera


Cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 has been a persistent problem in Iran. In the 2005 epidemic which involved loss of lives, state television warned people not to eat vegetables or buy ice blocks on the streets. Salads were also banned in some restaurants. The 1998 epidemic involved considerably more cases and loss of life.

HIV/AIDS



Increased drug use has driven up the incidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In 2005 two-thirds of the official total of 9,800 HIV cases were attributed to drug use. Iran has established a national HIV treatment system, including 150 testing sites and a free needle exchange program.

According to the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, AIDS
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

 has been increasing in Iran at a rapid rate. The major factor fuelling the epidemic until now has been injecting drug use
Recreational drug use
Recreational drug use is the use of a drug, usually psychoactive, with the intention of creating or enhancing recreational experience. Such use is controversial, however, often being considered to be also drug abuse, and it is often illegal...

, while there is an increase in sexual transmission
Sexually transmitted disease
Sexually transmitted disease , also known as a sexually transmitted infection or venereal disease , is an illness that has a significant probability of transmission between humans by means of human sexual behavior, including vaginal intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex...

 of the disease. An estimated 14% of people who inject drugs countrywide were living with HIV in 2007. In 2009, men account for 93 percent of the HIV patients, and women comprise 7 percent of the infected population.

The rate of the epidemic in Iran is however still very low compared to international standards. Iran has a low prevalence of HIV infections with a rate of about 0.16 percent of the adult population (18,000 cases, officially) compared with 0.8 percent in North America (2008). But according to the WHO
Who
Who may refer to:* Who , an English-language pronoun* who , a Unix command* Who?, one of the Five Ws in journalism- Art and entertainment :* Who? , a 1958 novel by Algis Budrys...

, as of the end of 2009, there are more than 100,000 AIDS sufferers in Iran (approximately 0.135% of the Iranian population).

Illegal drugs


Drug addiction constitutes a major health problem. Iran is situated along one of the main trafficking routes for cannabis, heroin, opium
Opium
Opium is the dried latex obtained from the opium poppy . Opium contains up to 12% morphine, an alkaloid, which is frequently processed chemically to produce heroin for the illegal drug trade. The latex also includes codeine and non-narcotic alkaloids such as papaverine, thebaine and noscapine...

 and morphine
Morphine
Morphine is a potent opiate analgesic medication and is considered to be the prototypical opioid. It was first isolated in 1804 by Friedrich Sertürner, first distributed by same in 1817, and first commercially sold by Merck in 1827, which at the time was a single small chemists' shop. It was more...

 produced in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, and designer drugs have also found their way into the local market in recent years. Iran ranks first worldwide in the prevalence of opiate addiction with 2.8% of its population addicted. Initiation age for most Iranian addicts is their 20s.
Hundreds of drug production laboratories have been set up in Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 and Afghanistan. Drug production in Afghanistan has multiplied by 40 times the previous output since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001. Iran's police said in April 2009 that 7,700 tonnes of opium was produced in Afghanistan in 2008, of which 3000 tonnes entered Iran, adding that the force had managed to seize 1000 tonnes of the smuggled opium. Iran spent over 600 million dollars in just the last two years to dig canals, build barriers and install barbed wire to seal off the country’s crime-infested borders.

Iran discovers 3 tons of drugs daily. In 2005, estimates of the number of drug addicts ranged from 2 to 4 million (1.2 million according to the Government). Reasons for addiction include lack of economic prospects among the youth and lack of freedom. 40% of prisoners in Iran have been convicted on drug related charges. According to published figures, Iran has so far lost close to 3,500 police and security officers to the anti-drug campaign that annually costs the country almost $1 billion and inflicts an annual damage of about $8.5 billion on Iran's economy
Economy of Iran
The economy of Iran is the eighteenth largest in the world by purchasing power parity and according to Iranian officials' claims is going to become the 12th largest by 2015. The economy of Iran is a mixed and transition economy with a large public sector and some 50% of the economy centrally planned...

.

Smoking



Iran has implemented a strict smoking ban
Smoking ban
Smoking bans are public policies, including criminal laws and occupational safety and health regulations, which prohibit tobacco smoking in workplaces and/or other public spaces...

 in all public places (2007). According to the new law, smoking
Smoking
Smoking is a practice in which a substance, most commonly tobacco or cannabis, is burned and the smoke is tasted or inhaled. This is primarily practised as a route of administration for recreational drug use, as combustion releases the active substances in drugs such as nicotine and makes them...

 is prohibited in all public organizations, hotels, restaurants, tea houses and coffee shops. Also forbidden is the offering and smoking of ghalyun, the traditional Persian waterpipe, which is a must in Iranian tea house
Tea house
A tea house or tearoom is a venue centered on drinking tea. Its function varies widely depending on the culture, and some cultures have a variety of distinct tea-centered houses or parlors that all qualify under the English language term "tea house" or "tea room."-Asia:In Central Asia this term...

s. A smoking ban for all car drivers nationwide was implemented since March 2006, and although offenders could face fines, the ban was widely ignored by the drivers. Also selling tobacco products to anyone under 18 would result in confiscation of the vendor's tobacco products and a cash fine. Repeated violations would lead to high cash fines.

About 20% of adult male and 4.5% of adult female population in the country smoke tobacco (12 million smokers according to some estimates). 60,000 Iranians die directly or indirectly due to smoking every year (2008). Smoking is responsible for 25% of death in the country. Approx. 54bn-60bn cigarettes are believed to be consumed annually in Iran. Around 2.7bn cigarettes are smuggled into Iran annually, according to officials from the state-owned Iranian Tobacco Company (ITC), on top of another 26.7bn which are imported legally (2008). Imports of cigarettes, tobacco, cigars, cigarette paper, cigarette tips are subject to government monopoly. Iranians spend more than $1.8 billion a year on tobacco. According to a 2010-law, smokers henceforth will not be appointed to senior government jobs.

Air pollution



The prevalence of respiratory diseases and cancers in Iran is increasing at a significant rate, also because of air pollution in Tehran. The World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 estimates losses inflicted on Iran’s economy
Economy of Iran
The economy of Iran is the eighteenth largest in the world by purchasing power parity and according to Iranian officials' claims is going to become the 12th largest by 2015. The economy of Iran is a mixed and transition economy with a large public sector and some 50% of the economy centrally planned...

 as a result of deaths caused by air pollution at $640 million, which is equal to 5.1 trillion rials or 0.57 percent of GDP.

Alcohol consumption



Prohibited in Iran because of the Islamic law
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

, except for non-Muslims who can legally consume alcoholic beverages in private. Alcohol smuggling into Iran was estimated at nearly $1 billion in 2010.

Leading causes of mortality


In the early 2000s the main natural causes of death have been cardiovascular disease and cancer
Cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

.

According to Ministry of Health and Medical Education
Ministry of Health and Medical Education
The Ministry of Health and Medical Education has executive responsibility for health and medical education within the Iranian government.Iran's health system is highly centralized, and almost all decisions regarding general...

, in 2003, 41% of total deaths were due to diseases of the circulatory system. Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

 as the cause of 25% of deaths was the leading cause of mortality among the population.

Addiction
Substance dependence
The section about substance dependence in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not use the word addiction at all. It explains:...

 is the fourth major cause of death in Iran following road accidents, heart disease
Heart disease
Heart disease, cardiac disease or cardiopathy is an umbrella term for a variety of diseases affecting the heart. , it is the leading cause of death in the United States, England, Canada and Wales, accounting for 25.4% of the total deaths in the United States.-Types:-Coronary heart disease:Coronary...

 and depression.

Pharmaceuticals



The pharmaceutical industry in Iran began in its modern form in 1920 when the Pasteur Institute
Pasteur Institute
The Pasteur Institute is a French non-profit private foundation dedicated to the study of biology, micro-organisms, diseases, and vaccines. It is named after Louis Pasteur, who made some of the greatest breakthroughs in modern medicine at the time, including pasteurization and vaccines for anthrax...

 was founded. Iran has a well-developed pharmaceutical production capability, however, the country still relies on imports for raw materials and many specialized drugs. The standards regarding pharmaceutical products in Iran are determined and modified by the Pharmacopeia Council.

Iran’s Ministry of Health and Medical Education
Ministry of Health and Medical Education
The Ministry of Health and Medical Education has executive responsibility for health and medical education within the Iranian government.Iran's health system is highly centralized, and almost all decisions regarding general...

 (MOHME) has a mission to provide access to sufficient quantities of safe, effective and high quality medicines that are affordable for the entire population. Since the 1979 revolution, Iran has adopted a full generic-based National Drug Policy (NDP), with local production of essential drugs and vaccines as one of the main goals. Iran has since produced a wide range of pharmaceuticals drugs for the treatment of diabetes, infection and depression. The Islamic Republic of Iran is the first country in the East Mediterranean region which has the technical and scientific capability to export vaccines to various world countries.

Market



In 2006, 55 pharmaceutical companies in Iran produce more than 96 percent (quantitatively) of medicines on the market, worth $1.2 billion annually. Iran’s pharmaceutical market is estimated to be worth $1.87 billion (2008), $2.31 billion (2009) and $3.65bn by 2013 (projected).
The drug market in Iran is heavily in favour of generic medicines
Generic drug
A generic drug is a drug defined as "a drug product that is comparable to brand/reference listed drug product in dosage form, strength, route of administration, quality and performance characteristics, and intended use." It has also been defined as a term referring to any drug marketed under its...

, which contributed US$1.23bn to the total in 2009, with patented drugs at US$817mn and OTC
OTC
OTC may refer to:* Oakwood Technology College* Owatonna Tool Company* Oklahoma Tax Commission* Odenton Town Center* Officer in Tactical Command* Officer Training Corps* Offshore Technology Conference* Ohio Turnpike Commission...

 medicines at US$262mn.

The market share of local production (value-wise) has declined from 85.2% to 63.4% over the past 8 (Iranian) years (2009). In this period the value of importation has jumped from 14.8% to 36.6%. Iran plans to become self-sufficient in biotech medicines production within 4 years. The government imposes 90% tariff on the import of drugs. In 2009, 1.8 million units of "pharmaceutical products" worth $1.2 billion were imported into Iran.

Pharmaceutical companies



There are 92 companies in Iran that are active in the pharmaceutical industry. Although over 85 percent of the population use an insurance system to reimburse their drug expenses, the government heavily subsidizes pharmaceutical production/importation in order to increase affordability of medicines, which tends also to increase overconsumption, overprescription and misuse of drugs, such as antibiotics. The regulatory environment of the country is rather strict on the import of drugs and pharmaceuticals towards companies that intend to enter into the market for the first time. The Ministry of Health and Medical Education is the main stakeholder of pharmaceutical affairs in the country. The Social Security Investment Co. (SSIC), Iran's largest holding company, which is affiliated to the Ministry of Welfare
Ministry of Welfare and Social Security (Iran)
The Ministry of Welfare and Social Security established in 2004 and dissolved in 2011, was an Iranian government body responsible for the oversight of Social security in Iran.-See also:*Social security in Iran*Health care in Iran*Subsidy reform plan...

, presently owns and controls 22 pharmaceutical manufacturing companies and possesses a 40% share of total pharmaceutical production in Iran.

The leading pharmaceuticals company is Darou Pakhsh
Darou Pakhsh
Darou Pakhsh is the leading pharmaceutical company in Iran. The company is majority-owned by the Social Security Organization of Iran. The company manufactures, distributes, imports and exports finished products and pharmaceutical raw materials. Darou Pakhsh has an annual turnover of US$400m and...

, which is majority-owned by the Social Security Organization
Social Security Organization (Iran)
Social Security Organization is a social insurer organization in Iran which provides coverage of wage-earners and salaried workers as well as voluntary coverage of self-employed persons...

. The company manufactures, distributes, imports and exports finished products and pharmaceutical raw materials. Darou Pakhsh
Darou Pakhsh
Darou Pakhsh is the leading pharmaceutical company in Iran. The company is majority-owned by the Social Security Organization of Iran. The company manufactures, distributes, imports and exports finished products and pharmaceutical raw materials. Darou Pakhsh has an annual turnover of US$400m and...

 has an annual turnover of US$400m and claims to have the largest research and development operation of any Iranian drug firm. The company formed a plasmapheresis
Plasmapheresis
Plasmapheresis is the removal, treatment, and return of blood plasma from blood circulation. It is thus an extracorporeal therapy...

 joint venture with a German medical firm, Biotest AG, in early 2004. As of 2010, 50% of raw materials and chemicals used in the drug manufacturing sector are imported.

Innovation vs generic production


The new drugs launched in Iran for the treatment of MS
Multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease in which the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and scarring as well as a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms...

 include an interferon beta-1b by CinnaGen
CinnaGen
CinnaGen is an Iran based biotechnology company, the biggest in the region.It has more than 14 years of experience in manufacturing of molecular biology, biopharmaceuticals and diagnostic products...

.Gamma Immunex (recombinant interferon beta 1), Pegaferon (recombinant pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN)) and regenerative human factor VIII are among other recombinant
Recombinant
Recombinant may refer to:* A recombinant organism - an organism that contains a different combination of alleles from either of its parents.* Recombinant DNA - a form of artificial DNA* Recombinant virus - a virus formed by recombining genetic material...

-based medication made in Iran. Iranian researchers are going to produce eight new recombinant drugs by March 2011. Iran mass produces MS drug Ziferon. A generic version of fingolimod by Novartis
Novartis
Novartis International AG is a multinational pharmaceutical company based in Basel, Switzerland, ranking number three in sales among the world-wide industry...

 has been launched as well as a biosimilar version of EMD Serono
Serono
Serono is a biotechnology company headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The company was founded as the Serono Pharmacolodgical Institute by Cesare Serono in 1906 in Italy. A key step in its development was the discovery of a method of extracting urinary gonadotropins by Dr Piero Donini allowing...

′s Rebif. Iranian researchers have developed 41 types of anti-cancer medications over the next six months, overcoming the need for importing pricey cancer drugs from abroad by 2011.

In recent years several drugmakers are gradually developing the ability to innovate, away from generic drugs production itself. Iranian pharmaceutical manufacturers are disadvantaged by the government′s poor intellectual property protection regime
Iran and copyright issues
According to Circular 38a of the U.S. Copyright Office, Iran has no official copyright relations whatsoever with the United States.Published works originating in Iran thus are not copyrighted in the United States, regardless of the local copyright laws of these countries. See 17 U.S.C. § 104,...

 and because of lack of foreign direct investment
Foreign Direct Investment in Iran
Foreign direct investment in Iran has been hindered by unfavorable or complex operating requirements and by international sanctions, although in the early 2000s the Iranian government liberalized investment regulations. Iran ranks 62nd in the World Economic Forum's 2011 analysis of the global...

.

Depending on sources between 2,000 and 7,500 plant
Plant
Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. Precise definitions of the kingdom vary, but as the term is used here, plants include familiar organisms such as trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The group is also called green plants or...

 species are grown in Iran; only 100-300 of which are being used in pharmaceutical industries. Iran has 80 percent of the world medicinal herbs. Due to lack of required technology, they are exported raw and in limited quantities to foreign markets.

Top 10 local manufacturers


Top 5 import agencies

  • Cobel Darou
    Cobel Darou
    Cobel Darou, headquartered in Tehran, Iran, is one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in Iran. Cobel Darou engages in the research, registration, importing and marketing of pharmaceutical products for sale principally in the prescription market...

  • Akbarieh
    Akbarieh
    Akbarieh, headquarter in Tehran, Iran, is one of the oldest suppliers of pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals and importers to Iran. Established in 1890, the company is still operated by the Akbarieh family...

  • Behestan Darou
    Behestan Darou
    Behestan Darou is a private joint stock pharmaceutical company based in Tehran, Iran. Founded in 2001, the company is currently one of the largest importers of finished pharmaceutical products in terms of sales and number of products imported...

  • Shafayb Gostar
  • Jahan Behbood

Medical equipment



The Department of Medical Equipments in the Ministry of Health and Medical Education
Ministry of Health and Medical Education
The Ministry of Health and Medical Education has executive responsibility for health and medical education within the Iranian government.Iran's health system is highly centralized, and almost all decisions regarding general...

 (MOHME) is responsible for supervising imports in this segment, but the import and distribution of such equipment is mostly handled by the private sector
Private sector
In economics, the private sector is that part of the economy, sometimes referred to as the citizen sector, which is run by private individuals or groups, usually as a means of enterprise for profit, and is not controlled by the state...

. Iran has undergone the primary stages of development in terms of industrialisation
Industrialisation
Industrialization is the process of social and economic change that transforms a human group from an agrarian society into an industrial one...

 and a rather strong indigenous manufacturing capability
Industry of Iran
According to a report by the Economist, Iran has been ranked 39th for producing $23 billion of industrial products in 2008. From 2008 to 2009 Iran has leaped to 28th place from 69th place in annual industrial production growth rate. A recent report by the World Fact Book ranks Iran 3rd among...

 exists in the country. Therefore one can expect to find a handful of local producers for basic medical equipment
Medical equipment
Medical equipment is designed to aid in the diagnosis, monitoring or treatment of medical conditions.-Types:There are several basic types:* Diagnostic equipment includes medical imaging machines, used to aid in diagnosis...

, making it very hard to penetrate into the Iranian market for similar imported ones.

Iran MED and Iran LAB are the main annual exhibitions relating to medical and laboratory equipments in Tehran. In 2009, approximately $3.1 billion worth of drugs and medical products were consumed in Iran. This shows an 80% increase from 3 years ago. Iran’s per capita consumption is $21, as opposed to the global average of $94 because Iran subsidizes heavily its medical and pharmaceutical industry. In 2009, Iran exported $74 million worth of "medical products" to countries such as Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 and Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

.

U.S. sanctions against Iran do not apply to medical equipment or pharmaceuticals. There are over 100 Iranian companies representing the international suppliers in this market, handling both promotion and the after-sales service of the products. Iran is a mature market
Mature market
A market is mature when it has reached a state of equilibrium. A market is considered to be in a state of equilibrium when there is an absence of significant growth, or a lack of innovation.http://www.investorwords.com/3016/mature_market.html...

 when it comes to medical equipment
Medical equipment
Medical equipment is designed to aid in the diagnosis, monitoring or treatment of medical conditions.-Types:There are several basic types:* Diagnostic equipment includes medical imaging machines, used to aid in diagnosis...

. Most of the major international players in this sector are present in the Iran market:
  • 3M
    3M
    3M Company , formerly known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation based in Maplewood, Minnesota, United States....

  • Aesculap
  • Boston Medical Group
    Boston Medical Group
    The Boston Medical Group is, a network of medical offices sharing research information and treatment methods for erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation....

  • Cordis
    Cordis (medical)
    Cordis is a medical device company owned by Johnson & Johnson. The company was founded in Miami in 1959 and is currently headquartered in Bridgewater Township, New Jersey.Cordis' products include stents, distal protection devices, catheters, and guidewires....

  • Guidant
    Guidant
    Guidant Corporation, part of Boston Scientific and Abbott Labs, designs and manufactures artificial pacemakers, implantable defibrillators, stents, and other cardiovascular medical products. Their company headquarters is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Their main competitors are Medtronic, St...

  • Hiticha
  • Johnson & Johnson
    Johnson & Johnson
    Johnson & Johnson is an American multinational pharmaceutical, medical devices and consumer packaged goods manufacturer founded in 1886. Its common stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the company is listed among the Fortune 500....

  • Medtronic
    Medtronic
    Medtronic, Inc. , based in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the world's largest medical technology company and is a Fortune 500 company.- History :...

  • Ohmeda
  • Philips
    Philips
    Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. , more commonly known as Philips, is a multinational Dutch electronics company....

  • Siemens
    Siemens AG
    Siemens AG is a German multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Munich, Germany. It is the largest Europe-based electronics and electrical engineering company....

  • Smith & Nephew
    Smith & Nephew
    Smith & Nephew plc is a global medical devices company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest producer of arthroscopy products, second-largest producer of advanced wound management products, third-largest producer of trauma and clinical therapy products and...

  • Stryker
    Stryker
    The IAV Stryker is a family of eight-wheeled, 4-wheel-drive , armored fighting vehicles derived from the Canadian LAV III and produced by General Dynamics Land Systems, in use by the United States Army. The vehicle is named for two American servicemen who posthumously received the Medal of Honor:...

  • Toshiba Medical Systems
  • Varian Medical Systems
    Varian Medical Systems
    Varian Medical Systems of Palo Alto, California, is a manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, proton therapy, and brachytherapy. The company supplies informatics software for managing comprehensive cancer...

  • Zimmer

See also

  • Medicine in Iran
  • List of hospitals in Iran
  • Family planning in Iran
    Family planning in Iran
    The Republic of Iran has a comprehensive and effective program of family planning. While Iran's population grew at a rate of more than 3%/year between 1956 and 1986, the growth rate began to decline in the late 1980s and early 1990s after the government initiated a major population control program...

  • Demographics of Iran
    Demographics of Iran
    Iran's population increased dramatically during the later half of the 20th century, reaching about 75 million by 2011. In recent years, however, Iran's birth rate has dropped significantly. Studies project that Iran's rate of population growth will continue to slow until it stabilizes above 100...

  • Economy of Iran
  • List of Iranian companies
  • Environmental issues in Iran
    Environmental issues in Iran
    Environmental issues in Iran include, especially in urban areas, vehicle emissions, refinery operations, and industrial effluents which contribute to poor air quality. Most cars use leaded gas and lack emissions control equipment. Tehran is rated as one of the world’s most polluted cities...

  • Sports in Iran
  • HORCSCT
    HORCSCT
    The Hematology-Oncology Research Center and Stem Cell Transplantation is affiliated to Tehran University of Medical Sciences and based in Shariati Hospital, Tehran, Iran...

  • IMOD (herbal extract)
    IMOD (herbal extract)
    IMOD is the name of an herbal drug that, according to Iranian scientists, protects those already infected by HIV from the spread of AIDS by strengthening the immune system...

  • Kamiar and Arash Alaei incident
    Kamiar and Arash Alaei incident
    Dr. Kamiar Alaei and his brother Dr. Arash Alaei are two Iranian HIV/AIDS doctors who were detained in Tehran's Evin prison from June 2008 though Dec 2010 and August 2011, respectively...

  • Legal organ trade in Iran
  • Health care systems
  • Tehran University of Medical Sciences
    Tehran University of Medical Sciences
    - General and History :Tehran University of Medical Sciences is the largest and "most distinguished", and most highly ranked medical school of Iran. In September 2008, the health minister of Iran - General and History :Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS) is the largest and "most...

  • International rankings of Iran
  • Social Security Organization (Iran)
    Social Security Organization (Iran)
    Social Security Organization is a social insurer organization in Iran which provides coverage of wage-earners and salaried workers as well as voluntary coverage of self-employed persons...


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