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News number: 9102111111

11:23 | 2012-05-08

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Rafsanjani Blasts West for Denying Iran Vital Drugs

TEHRAN (FNA)- Head of Iran's Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani criticized the western countries for putting the sale of "vital" medical drugs to Iran under sanctions.



"How can westerners claim that they observe human rights when they put vital drugs for patients on their list of merciless sanctions," Rafsanjani said addressing a meeting with the management and staff of the Special Diseases Foundation.

Iran had announced that European countries are refusing to sell Iran radioactive pharmaceuticals that are mainly used to diagnose and treat cancer.

Radioactive pharmaceuticals are injected or administered to patients and used in various scans as well as treatments.

Iran itself is a producer of radioisotopes used for cancer treatment. The radioisotopes are produced by Tehran Research Reactor.

Meantime, Iran producers 96% of its needs to different types of drugs and medications through domestic production.

"Iran is almost self-sufficient in producing drugs and 96% of the different needed medications are produced inside the country," Iranian Health Minister Marziyeh Vahid Dastjerdi announced in March.

Rapporteur of the parliament's Health Commission Hassan Tamini also announced in similar remarks in February that Iranian experts and scientists produce 96% of the country's needs to medicine and 85% of its needed disposable medical tools and equipment, and expressed the hope that the figure would increase to 100% at the end of the country's Fifth Five-Year Development Plan (2010-2015).

Earlier this year, Dastjerdi had boasted the country's astonishing progress in producing medical tools, equipment and drugs, saying that Iran ranks first in synthesizing different drugs and medications in the region.

Iran has taken wide strides in science and technology, particularly in medical and medicinal fields, in recent years.

In a landmark pharmaceutical progress, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) announced in January that Iranian scientists have managed to synthesize two new types of radiomedicines to treat malignant types of cancer.

"The Iranian scientists and researchers of the AEOI's Nuclear Science and Technology Research Center succeeded in producing two new radiomedicines for the first time to cure malignant cancers," AEOI Spokesman Hamid Khadem Qaemi said at the time.

He named the radiomedicines as Lutetium-177 Phosponate (EDTMP) for bone pain palliation in metastatic prostate cancer and Iodine 131 Chlorotoxin to treat malignant glioma.

Also, Iran in December unveiled five different radiomedicine projects with applications for diagnosis, prevention and treatment of a number of diseases.

In September, Iran announced that it plans to synthesize 20 kinds of radiomedicine inside the country, stressing that its scientists are capable of supplying the 20%-enriched uranium needed for the production of such drugs.

"Iran has gained the necessary preparedness to produce 20 radiomedicines and we will provide the 20% (enriched) fuel needed for the production of these medicines this year," Deputy Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) for Planning, International and Parliamentary Affairs Massoud Akhavan-Fard told FNA in September.

In addition to the Tehran research reactor which has long been used by radioisotope production, Iran also plans to build four other research reactors in the other parts of the country, he added.