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Healthcare Crisis: Drug Shortages Endanger Iran's Thalassemia Patients

May 7, 2024
1 min read
Iran faces a healthcare crisis as Thalassemia patients struggle with critical medication shortages amid the government's focus on enforcing "religious observance" in pharmacies
Iran faces a healthcare crisis as Thalassemia patients struggle with critical medication shortages amid the government's focus on enforcing "religious observance" in pharmacies

Iran faces a healthcare crisis as Thalassemia patients struggle with critical medication shortages amid the government's focus on enforcing "religious observance" in pharmacies. 

Since 2018, over 1,100 patients have died due to a lack of essential drugs.

This shortage coincides with the return of sanctions and the fall of the Iranian currency.

The Iranian Thalassemia Association has warned of an "exponential" rise in deaths if the situation persists.

"Stable treatment is key," said Younes Arab, the Association's head. "Regular blood transfusions and iron-depleting drugs are crucial. Shortages endanger lives," he added.

Iran has some domestically produced drugs. However, according to experts, they have side effects and are ineffective for 35-40 percent of patients who require specific foreign medication.

Arab highlights the severity of the situation, saying, "Only 12 percent of necessary medicine was imported last year. This year, there has been none."

On Monday, the head of Iran's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) linked the allocation of drug quotas to "observance of hijab and norms."

According to the FDA head Heydar Mohammadi, pharmacies that fail to heed warnings regarding the mandatory hijab for both employees and customers will face punitive measures, including reduced drug quotas.

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