Iranian pharmaceutical imports and exports

In our recently published whitepaper Pharmaceutical Industry Iran ILIA Corporation analyzed the current status, opportunities and threats that the industry is facing.  This post focuses on the imports and exports of the pharmaceutical industry in Iran, concluding in an outlook of the future.

According to Iran customs, in 2014 pharmaceutical products from 61 countries with a total value of 1,535 million USD were imported into Iran, which is a decrease in value compared to the year 2013. Although less than 5 percent of all products were imported, imports made up for approximately 30 percent of the total costs attributed to the pharmaceutical industry. Exports to 29 countries amounted to 159 million USD in value compared to 121 million USD in 2014.

The share of the top ten countries importing pharmaceutical products from Iran in 2014 were as follows: 33% Afghanistan; 18% Russia; 16% Germany; 11% Syria; 8% Iraq; 4% Ukraine; 3% Tajikistan; 2% Yemen; 1% Lebanon; and 1% Pakistan. The value of sales of Iranian pharmaceutical products to Afghanistan, Russia, Germany, and Syria amounted to 52, 28, 25, and 18 million USD respectively. In 2015, 26 percent of Iranian exports went to CIS countries.

Iran is located in the Middle East where many economic and social developments are currently taking place. Thus, it can be expected that the demand for healthcare products and services will increase substantially during the coming years. The export of medicine has experienced upward trends from 2005 until 2011. Between 2011 and 2013 exports dropped, mainly due to foreign exchange policy, however, in 2014 the export ratio superseded the one reached in 2013.

After the fall of the sanctions two key developments can be expected in the Iranian pharmaceutical industry: Firstly, increasing export levels and secondly decreasing prices of imported medicine.

Today the amount of exports is at less than 200 million USD, which can be expected to reach 500 million USD within the next 3 years. One of the key target markets for the next three years is Iraq, of which Iran aims to obtain 10 to 20 percent of the market share.

According to the Chairman of the Pharmaceuticals and Food Organization the export target by 2025 has been defined at 1,250 million USD.

Written by ILIA Corporation Consultant Hoda Hosseinifar

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