The pharmacist refers her to the government pharmacies of the Red Crescent and the Sun, etc., where she has a better chance of finding the medicine. Aside from the relatively old woman who wants yellow insulin, there are many others who want simple medications that the pharmacist has either run out of or does not have or are scarce. Pharmacies now not only do not have scarce medicines, but sometimes they are unable to accept prescriptions due to the reduction of common medicines.
On the next pharmacy window is filled with advertisements about mouth and teeth or skin and hair or shampoos that do not benefit certain patients, nor patients who have to walk all the streets of the city to find their medicine, and finally Go home empty-handed.
The next person is a man who wants beta-interferon, Avanx, and the pharmacist says in a serious tone and without feeling emotional: “We do not have it,” “we have none, sir,” it is scarce. Maybe you can find it in Red Crescent. The man walks out desperately.
For those who are still frustrated with their search, the cloudy weather outside seems to be more in the pharmacy.
This is one of the big and reputable pharmacies in Isfahan; The pharmacist himself is an old man. He says very seriously and a little sharply: When government say no, it means no. “When governmental pharmacies say no, it means no,” he says very seriously and a little sharply. He does not want to talk and reluctantly looks at another prescription and says: We don’t have it, maybe other pharmacies do, so I cannot say that it is scarce. “The pain is that people think we are the reason that there is no medicine” The pharmacist says. He turns his head to wrap up the next prescription, which contains quite common cold medicines, and fortunately the pharmacist has them all.
Bozorgmehr Street is full of small and large pharmacies, a little further on is another pharmacy that is relatively crowded. Most people who come here want cold or fortifying medicines and vitamins, items that they can easily get with a few thousand toman bills. So far there is no problem, the crisis starts as drugs become more specialized and diseases become more specific. Especially the diseases that affect most people. Diabetes is one of the diseases that afflicts its patients these days with a shortage of drugs.
The pharmacist is a young woman who tries to answer one in between. “If you do not mention the name of the pharmacy, I can tell you the truth” she says. When the assurance is obtained, she says: “Well, yes, there is not enough medicine. Especially medicines that are related to heart or skin diseases or cancer. Of course, we try to give people something similar, but some drugs are not available at all”. In her opinion, the items of medicine that were imported into the country have been declining for several years.
The number of clients is increasing, so she prefers to be responsive to its customers. Pharmacies are also crowded a few blocks away in Quds Square, according to one of the pharmacists on this street, after the exchange rate changes, Iranian medicine has risen by about 10 to 15 percent and foreign medicine by about 40 to 100 percent, and this may have led to less medicines on the shelves of pharmacies.
The pharmacist continues: We face a large drug deficit. Before the drug became expensive, the patient bought two packs of one drug, but today he buys only one pack, rising drug prices are inextricably linked to drug shortages, although in the meantime our quotas have been reduced and distribution companies are even delivering some Iranian drugs to us less than before, which does not meet our needs.
This problem is less common in government pharmacies, where you can better get scarce medicines. An example is Sajjad Pharmacy on Ostandari Street, but private pharmacies, which are not usually subject to the quota of special and expensive drugs, also report the scarcity of items of drugs, the scarcity of which has nothing to do with price, but the problem is the lack of raw materials for their production.
Many private pharmacy operators are not willing to talk about this, but the head of a pharmacy on Feyz Street says in this regard: “Many drugs have foreign raw materials and are not available to drug companies because these raw materials are not imported.” and this has led to a shortage of some drugs, which has also led to abuses in the drug sector, such as drugs that are out of date with new labels being smuggled and marketed.
According to him, the lack of currency for the import of certain drugs is another reason why some drugs, such as Zeluda Vival Meptra, which are related to cancer patients, are scarce.
According to the pharmacist, who does not want to be named: those involved in the import and production of drugs who are active in this field without government support and with personal investment have suffered a lot during these years.
The manager of the pharmacy, Dr. … on Nazar Street, agrees: “The drug quota for some drugs has almost halved for us in the last month, and many of our customers return empty-handed.”
According to him, the drugs that used to be given to diabetic patients without a prescription are now given to the patient only with a prescription and in a limited amount, and the rest of the patients are left empty-handed.
The shortage or unreasonable rise in drug prices these days ranges from simple drugs such as adult cold pills to more complex drugs and even supplements, and the sharp fluctuations in the foreign exchange market have exacerbated the problem. Although government officials deny the crisis of scarcity or shortage of medicine, in this cycle people are well aware that the high cost has caused even a serum or ointment or even an eye drop to be scarce in pharmacies.