EghtesadOnline: Iranian and Qatari officials have signed a memorandum of understanding on the export of Iran's pharmaceuticals to the Persian Gulf country.
Under the agreement, hard-to-cure Qatari patients and also patients suffering from cancer will use Iranian-made drugs and medicines, Fars News Agency reported.
The MoU was signed on Friday between Chief Executive of CinnaGen Pharmaceutical Group Haleh Hamedifar and Qatari pharmaceutical officials to supply Iranian medicines to Qatari patients suffering from special diseases.
In view of the above, Iran’s CinnaGen Pharmaceutical Group undertook to supply more than 40 “hi-tech” drugs for Qatari patients from its production sites based in Iran and Turkey, Financial Tribune reported.
As the first and sole Iranian company, CinnaGen Pharmaceutical Group is licensed by EU’s GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) and is the largest and most reliable knowledge-based company in the country’s pharmaceutical industry.
The group accounts for 30% of Iran’s total pharmaceutical export share. It produces biosimilars of leading immunology and cancer drugs, among others, and invests 20% of revenues in R&D.
Back in May, Secretary-General of Iran-Turkey Commercial Council Jalal Ebrahimi told Financial Tribune that a major Iranian pharmaceutical company has signed a contract with a Turkish entity to produce medicine in the neighboring country, without disclosing the name of the company.
"The cooperation will be in the form of a joint venture. The Iranian side is investing some $100 million in the project. Yet, details on the contribution of the Turkish side have yet to be released. The aim is to pave the way for exporting Iranian products to European and the Mediterranean countries," he said.
Referring to Iran's competence in the production of biotechnical, nano and herbal medicines, the official said many Iranian companies are exporting their products to regional countries.
"The Iranian company, which is investing in the construction of a pharmaceutical center in Turkey's Tekirdag Industrial Park, will procure all the required raw materials inside the country and the production process will be carried out in Turkey," he added.
According to Ebrahimi, Iran is one of the cheapest countries to produce goods in, due to its low-priced workforce, energy and water expenses.
“At present, almost 95% of the medicine needed by Iranian patients, as well as 50% of the raw materials, are produced in the country and we import the rest. In the meantime, we have a big market (near Iran) to export medicine."
Sanctions have forced Iran to build a substantial, largely self-sufficient drug production infrastructure. Some 60 plants produce almost 40 billion drug units each year.
Iran’s biotechnology capabilities are also improving. It is among the world's leading nations in stem-cell research and has a considerable infrastructure of related facilities, e.g. for plasmapheresis (blood plasma treatment).