Iran’s health minister says some medications continue to be scarce, despite assertions by the U.S. and the European Union that international sanctions do not affect Iran’s access to the pharmaceutical and medical equipment market.

Hassan Ghazizadeh said: “Our problems persist. Those who have laid sanctions claim they have not sanctioned pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, but it has not been so… there have been problems, which the previous administration also faced.”

He added, however, that drug costs and access to pharmaceuticals have now improved, with drug shortages affecting only 30 items, down from 300.

The health minister, who was speaking at Tehran Friday Mass prayers, said the quality of domestically produced pharmaceuticals must be increased.

While the sale of pharmaceuticals has not been directly sanctioned, restrictions on financial transactions and Iranian financial institutions have reduced Iran’s access to the pharmaceutical market.