Iran exports $100m worth of medicine in 10 months: TPOI

The director general of the America and Europe Affairs Office of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran (TPOI) said $100 million worth of drugs and medicine were exported so far in the current Iranian year (started March 21, 2023).
Ahmad Firouzi described the role of trade centers in offering high-quality services for the promotion of trade and economic ties as “important and effective,” adding that the trade centers have played a more significant role in the incumbent administration, reported Mehr News Agency.
About 50 trade centers of the country are active in the world, he said, noting that Iran has more than one trade center in some countries.
The official pointed to the lucrative market in Poland in the fields of importing and exporting medicine, and noted that this European country imports $8.5 billion worth of medicines annually. Firouzi said that Poland also exports $4.5 billion worth of medicines per year to other countries.
Poland and Norway are considered as emerging markets for Iran’s pharmaceutical and technology-based companies, he said, adding that half of Iran’s medicine exports are destined to European countries.
IRNA also reported on Sunday that researchers at the University of Tehran have produced a polymer widely used in medical and pharmaceutical fields to meet domestic needs amid problems caused by Western sanctions restricting the import of medicines and medical supplies to the country.
The copolymer, called poly lactic-co-glycolic acid or PLGA, is an environment-friendly chemical compound that is widely used in medical, pharmaceutical and research fields, including in producing surgical sutures, said Mohsen Shahrousvand, the chairman of the Polymer Engineering Department at the Caspian Technical Faculty of the Tehran University.
He said that PLGA is also used in producing drug delivery systems (DDS) required for certain medicines that are currently imported to Iran. Because those DDSs are not produced domestically, Iranian pharmaceutical companies have to import PLGA at a high price, he added.
PLGA is globally priced at 100 dollars each gram for research activities and 10 to 20 dollars for medicinal purposes, Shahrousvand said, adding that the Iranian knowledge-based company in charge of producing PLGA is currently working on getting required permissions to sell the product in internal and international markets.
He said that Iranian researchers have already managed to produce PLGA in labs.
Now, with the mass production of this polymer, the current monopoly on its production by a handful countries in the world will be broken as well, Shahrousvand noted, adding that PLGA is currently produced by the US, Germany, the Netherlands, China, and India.  
Iran has been subjected to Western sanctions in the past years, which have mainly targeted its financial sector, making it difficult for the country to import medicines that are not produced domestically.

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