These days, the Iranian pharmaceutical industry is struggling with various challenges. The drug pricing crisis, the disregard for the issues and problems of this industry, and the indecision of the government in allocating the preferred currency caused that, in an open letter to President Seyed Ebrahim Raisi, the Syndicate of Iranian Pharmaceutical Industry announced the possibility of closing some of the drug production lines of Iranian drug factories and sound the alarm for the government. The 57% increase in salaries and wages, the 30% increase in transportation costs, the tightening of the banking system, and the closure of the Drug Pricing Commission, along with the increase in the price of drug inputs, were the main reasons for the crisis in drug production.
In addition to these issues, there are other issues in the pharmaceutical industry that threaten this industry in Iran. Issues such as corruption. Last month, Zabihullah Khodaeian, a spokesman for the judiciary, named a pharmaceutical company with widespread violations of government currency in a press conference, and its case is currently under investigation. Actoverco Company, which is operated by Nahaleh Naraghi, is one of the manufacturers and importers of medicines in Iran. This company has extensive cooperation with foreign pharmaceutical companies.
These include the Slovenian company krka, the Indian company Hetro, the Spanish company Ferrer, and perhaps most importantly the German company Merck. It was in May 2019 that Saeed Namaki Former Minister of Health went to this company for the opening of the Actoverco pharmaceutical factory. The factory, which was established with the cooperation and technical knowledge of the German Merck company. according to Namaki, the factory was one of the honors of the country's pharmaceutical industry. This was just at a time when rumors were circulating that the judiciary was pursuing the Actoverco’s case and that its directors were being released on bail.
Now, Zabihollah Khodaeian, the spokesman of the Iranian Judiciary, in his recent meeting with the media about the company's violations, announced that according to the report of the IRGC Intelligence Organization in 2020, a case has been filed in the Tehran Public and Revolutionary court -special complex for special Economic crimes- and Aktoverco's case has been sent to court with an indictment, he said:
The method the company or the company officials had for taking government currency was in this way that The managers of this company had started to register companies which through those companies They bought and imported raw materials of medicine from abroad and received government currency in return.
Khodaeian added: These companies managed to obtain large amounts of money, about 92 million euros of government currency, through forgery of documents, that is, purchase invoices and fictitious price increases.
Therefore, on the charge of disrupting the economic system through invoicing and receiving multiples of currency through fake increasing the price of raw materials for importing medicine and preparing Fake and untrue invoices were prosecuted. And for 4 managers of this company and about 7 employees who took bribes and were accomplices an indictment has been issued and the case is under investigation.
Now we have to wait and see what the outcome of the investigation of the violations of this pharmaceutical company will be in the judiciary, and more importantly, whether the foreign partners of this pharmaceutical company will continue to cooperate with it. More importantly, will the government take action to support the country's pharmaceutical industry?