An assessment of trends in the Iranian pharmaceutical market following domestic production of selected medications (2007‒2017) and new considerations for health policymakers

Category: Original Research
Author(s): , , , , ,
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Keywords: Domestic production, Iranian health policy, medicines consumption, pharmaceutical industry, pharmaceutical market, trend analysis

Author byline as per print journal: Marzieh Zargaran1, PhD Candidate; Abdol Majid Cheraghal2, PharmD, PhD; Fatemeh Soleymani1,2, PharmD, PhD; Rajabali Daroudi3, BSc, MSc, PhD; Ali Akbari Sari3, MD, PhD; Shekoufeh Nikfar1,2, PharmD, MPH, PhD

Background: Enacting national policies which empower the local production of medications is a promising way to improve the accessibility and affordability of medications, but this can also have unintended consequences. A number of such policies have been adopted by the Iranian government. This study was designed to examine the changes in the consumption of a number of selected pharmaceuticals which occurred in the years after these selected products began to be domestically produced. The implications of these changes were then evaluated for their potential to suggest possible policy changes.
Method: A 10-year trend study was conducted to identify changes which occurred between 2007 and 2017 in the consumption of 28 selected, imported medications after they began to be domestically produced.
Results: Six different medication consumption patterns were observed after the development of domestic medication production. In addition, a downward trend in the cost of medications was observed, specifically due to the introduction of domestic pharmaceuticals.
Discussion: Examination of the observed changes in the consumption patterns revealed that various factors affect consumption patterns of imported medications. Significant increases in certain domestically manufactured medications indicated that local production might result in the irrational use of medications. In addition, the competitiveness of Iranian products, in terms of quality and accessibility should be considered.
Conclusion: New considerations are needed for health policymakers to support domestic production of viable alternative medications. However, increased accessibility of domestically produced medications may result in greater unreasonable use of medications.

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