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Iran: Domestic Pharma Companies Aim to Produce Corona-Fighting Medicines Made Scarce by Sanctions

The CEOs of two Iranian pharmaceutical companies working on producing medicine used to treat the deadly coronavirus said in Tehran on Saturday that the news of them discovering a new treatment for the virus were false, but that they were, in fact, working on synthesizing and multiplying compounds of three already existing medicines used for the treatment, as sanctions imposed on Iran have made it very difficult and expensive to import them.

“I have got to tell you that no new medicine has been produced in this regard. Actually, right now with cooperation with Tofigh Daru, we are putting effort into producing three medications that are already available within the treatment protocol of the health ministry and two of them are imported. Based on the circumstance of sanctions, such medications are imported to the country very difficultly and they are expensive for patients,” said CEO of Aburaihan Pharmaceutical Company Meysam Nourmohamadi.

Nourmohamadi’s company is working in the final stages of producing the medicines, while the Tofigh Daru Research and Engineering Company is working on finding a way to synthesize and reproducing six main compounds needed for the medicine.

“The main purpose of Tofigh Daru is to develop the technical knowledge of pharmaceutical molecules with high production technology, as these molecules are the ones with extraordinary economic value but they are produced on a small scale. Approximately three months ago that Coronavirus began to show its outbreak in China, we had observed it and targeted the effective molecules in this regard and began to synthesize them,” said CEO of Tofigh Daru Research and Engineering Company Mohammad Amin Rezvanfar.

Rezvanfar added that Iran has been highly affected by international sanctions, “especially in the field of providing initial materials to produce medication that the country needs.”

Both companies have been striving to alleviate the pressures imposed by the US sanctions, especially on medicine, by localising the production of medications in order to provide people with easy-access treatment and medicine at affordable prices.

Iran has been one of the countries most affected by the outbreak of the disease with over 11,300 confirmed cases and 514 deaths.

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