Iranian lawmaker says even ordinary drugs are in short supply now

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A lawmaker says the shortage and high prices of drugs in Iran are no longer limited to certain drugs, and very common drugs are also rare and expensive.

Homayoon Sameh Yeh Najafabadi, who is a member of the parliamentary health committee, told ILNA on Wednesday that “today medicine has become very scarce in the country, not special medicine but very ordinary medicine. Therefore, people have to go to multiple pharmacies for a single prescription.”

Criticizing those who claimed to be able to control drug prices, he added that the Ministry of Health should have drawn up a detailed price control plan before submitting the budget bill to parliament.

Many officials from the Ministry of Health appeared before parliament and said that there would be no problem with the high cost of drugs because the insurance companies would cover the highest prices and that there is no would have no pressure on patients once subsidies for essential drug imports are eliminated, Najafabadi said.

The lawmaker said that in addition to medicines, the prices of wheat, flour and bread have also increased, expressing hope that the government has a plan in this regard.

In March, parliament decided to scrap a $9 billion to $14 billion annual subsidy for essential food and medicine, despite warnings of inflation and further hardship.

The subsidy was introduced in April 2018 when former US President Donald Trump signaled his intention to withdraw from the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran known as the JCPOA, and Iran’s national currency has started to nose dive.

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