Iranian Parliament has called on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to immediately free up the drugs that have been stalled in customs and allow them entry into the market.
Shahin Mohammad Sadeghi, a member of the presiding board of Parliament, told the Khane Mellat website: “The Central Bank and the pharmaceuticals deputy of the Ministry of Health have not been diligent in their responsibilities in providing and distributing medical drugs.”
Iran has been facing serious drug shortages in recent months due to a lack of foreign currency, as international sanctions on Iranian banks have restricted financial transactions and the import of medical drugs.
Mohammad Sadeghi claimed that “inadequate management by some officials has further exacerbated the shortage of drugs and the sharp rise in their prices.”
The Member of Parliament added that concern about the fluctuating rate of currency exchange makes importers worry that they may have to sell the goods at a lower price than they paid for them, and for this reason they keep the goods in customs, delaying their clearance.
The Iranian currency has fallen sharply against the dollar in the past year and has failed to stabilize. Former health minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi spoke out against the government’s failure to provide adequate foreign currency funds for her ministry to provide for the public’s medical drug needs, but her complaints became grounds for her dismissal.
The head of Iran’s Medical Council has written to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon denouncing the UN chief’s “silence” on the subject of practical sanctions on medical drugs against Iran.
In an earlier report, the UN Secretary General did list the shortage of medical drugs as well as inflation and rising unemployment as being among the difficulties facing Iranian people.