He told IRNA that a portion of the medicine is produced domestically and some are imported from abroad. "Over 400-500 various assortment of medicine are imported from abroad."
He also pointed to small usage as the reason for import of some types of medicine, adding "in addition some companies have exclusive proprietary rights on some types of medicine which cannot be produced internally."
He said the single exchange rate policy, effective since March, has forced the government to subsidize raw material at a higher rates which "is a primary factor behind medicines price hikes."
Pezeshkian further cited unrestricted imports and the price gap between the domestically-made and imported medicine as other factors for rise in prices.
Meanwhile, Deputy Health Minister Abdollah Karimi said here Saturday that three percent of the total gross domestic product (GDP) is spent on health.
He told reporters "if we want to boost our health education standards to international norms, we have to allocate about five percent of the GDP to the sector."
He said that although the funds are limited, but, positive efforts have been made with the help of the cabinet and Management and Planning Organization.
He further said foreign students can now be accepted to the Iranian medical universities.
He said that life expectancy in Iran has increased from 57 years since the victory of Islamic Revolution in 1979 to 68 at present.
He referred to eradication and control of infectious diseases such as paralysis, cholera, malaria and tuberculosis as some of the achievements made in the health sector.
"If we wish to raise life expectancy and live a healthy life, other sectors should be called on to assist the development of health in the community," he said.
He lauded the national development in the production of medicine and said that 97 percent of the various types of medicine earlier imported to Iran are currently produced domestically.
... Payvand News - 7/27/03 ... --