Иран выпускает на рынок собственный препарат для лечения гепатита С
Iran, which has recently made great achievements in the health field, will release domestically-produced hepatitis C drug.
Reza Malekzadeh, deputy minister of health in research and technology said a newly developed hepatitis C drug made in Iran is to reach the country’s market next week, ISNA news agency reported.
He pointed out the drug, which is manufactured under the generic name Sofosbuvir, will be offered for one tenth of the price of similar imported drugs.
While the American version is available in the Iranian market for $100, the Iranian one will be offered at $10.
“The Sofosbuvir drug is used to treat hepatitis C cases; previously it was imported from other countries and priced at $100 per tablet but the indigenous version will be available at the price of 10 dollars per tablet,” Malekzadeh said reminding that, “in terms of quality, this drug fully complies with foreign ones and there is no difference in terms of efficiency or treatment of the disease.”
There are two other hepatitis C drugs undergoing their trial stages in Iran, Malekzadeh said, expressing hope that in near future the three drugs could fully answer the domestic need for hepatitis C drugs.
“There are now drugs that can treat hepatitis C and there is the possibility of eradication of the hepatitis C virus in the country in near future; hepatitis C has a three-month course of treatment and patients should take one tablet per day for full treatment,” Malekzadeh said.
Earlier, experts said about 0.5 percent of the Iranian population has hepatitis C virus, which has come to the top of virus-induced liver diseases in many parts of the world.
The infection is emerging mostly due to the problem of intravenous drug abuse and needle-sharing in the country.
Stressing the importance of supporting knowledge-based companies in the health sector, Malekzadeh added that, “by supporting these companies we will be able to produce low-cost drugs for a variety of diseases, especially cancer, in the country and make it available to our patients.”
Iran is now highly capable of producing various drugs as Iranian researchers can use biosimilar methods to reproduce new drugs that are available in the international market.
Malekzadeh also said 90 percent of the material used to make drugs in Iran is imported. He said measures are being taken to facilitate the domestic production of raw material for making drugs.
Under international sanctions, Iran has tapped domestic capabilities to meet domestic demand for drugs.
In past years, the sanctions caused many hardships for patients, leaving them without drugs in numerous cases.
International sanctions have hindered the trade of medicines, as pharmaceutical firms have refused to sell Iran some drugs due to difficulties in receiving payments. This has led to shortages of some vital medicine in the country.
Iran’s pharmaceutical market experienced a sharp growth last year, rising to $1.2 billion. There are as many as 65 pharmaceutical companies in the country, but their operations are basically limited to local formulation.
The modern Iranian pharmaceutical system in the country commenced 100 years ago with the opening of the first modern-style pharmacy by German, French, and Austrian pharmacists in Tehran. Established in 1946, Abidi was the first Iranian pharmaceutical company, followed by Tolid Darou and Darou Pakhsh in 1958 and 1963, respectively.
The pharmaceutical industry is regulated by the government, where the production and importation of drugs is heavily subsidized.