1Department of Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmaceutical Administration, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
2Tehran University of Medical Sciences
3Department of Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmaceutical Management, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
The impact of the international sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran in 2013 and also accessibility of medicines in this country have received a lot of media coverage. In this study we used the data collected from a group of pharmacies all located in Tehran to assess the potential effects of the banking sanctions on access to asthma medicines. Data were collected from forty community pharmacies in Tehran, using a standard methodology proposed by the WHO and Health Action International. Data were collected in two stages: first before the sanctions were made against the banking system in the summer of 2012, and second after they were in effect in the summer of 2013, and they were analyzed using univariate analysis techniques. Several imported medicines were already in shortage during 2012. As a result of the sanctions, the availability of both imported and locally manufactured asthma medicines decreased by 19% and 42%, respectively. While before the height of the sanctions 60% of the pharmacies could provide all the essential asthma medicines, this number reduced to 28% after the sanctions (p-value: 0.003). While studies about “access to medicines” in Iran prior to 2011 were indicating appropriate access, our findings suggested that the availability of asthma medicines in community pharmacies was already less than ideal in 2012 and declined dramatically after the latest wave of the sanctions. Our findings show the important effects of the sanctions on availability of asthma medications in community pharmacies.