Iran's New Generic Drug Policy. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 002 (1986)
(1986; 1 page)


In 1980, Iran adopted a new drug policy that was in line with recommendations made by the WHO. The number of drugs available was reduced from 4,000 brand name products in 1979 to 600 active substances with 1,000 presentation forms under generic names. The government gained control of quality assurance, drug registration, and other regulatory activities. Many multinational companies resisted the changes and refused to supply drugs. This problem was exacerbated by the embargo against Iran. Physicians throughout the country opposed the use of generics and the new guidelines that limited the number of drugs that could be prescribed. The Ministry of Health nationalized factories and implemented most of the new National Drug Policy. As a result of the Policy, drug prices have fallen and generics have been introduced to the public. By 1986, about 70% of prescriptions in Iran carried generic names. Accessibility and availability have improved, but are still limited. Two positive outcomes of Iran’s National Drug Policy were greater self-sufficiency in the health sector and lower drug costs. At the time of the article, it was still too early to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of the Policy as a whole. (Abstract by Flannery Bowman, 2013)

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