Iran's medical achievements in past four decades after the Islamic Revolution are considerable and significant. These achievements are mainly upon Iran's high quality medical universities. Based on Times Higher Education World University Rankings, five Iranian universities are named on the clinical, pre-clinical and health university ranking. Besides medical education, Iran is advanced in medical research and development, including medical treatment, medicine production, and medical equipment.

Iran medical treatment and hospitals are in a high quality position. Now, around 97% of Iranian cities have at least one hospital, while before the Revolution this rate was only 37%. In addition, Iran is an advanced country in specialized medical treatment, especially in Neurology, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Urology, Dentistry, Cardiology, and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and also in cosmetic treatment like Dermatology, Hair Transplant and Cosmetic Plastic Surgery.

These investments and advances has been fruitful for Iran and made the country into a destination for health tourism. Based on official statistics, a record high of 600,000 health tourists visited Iran during the first four months of the current Iranian year (March 2019-July 2019), equaling the total number of health tourists who paid a visit to the country in the last fiscal year (March 2018-19). In last Iranian year, a total of $1.2 billion in revenues were generated through health tourism. The figure has increased by 20-30% during the first four months of this year.

Iran's drug-production capacity is really high too. Different factories with an impressively high production capacity are at work. Some of Iranian pharmaceutical factories make up to 200 types of medicine, some of which are produced under foreign license in Iran. For example, the Middle East's biggest pharmaceutical factory specializing in production of anticancer drugs was inaugurated in Iran in late 2018. This pharmaceutical factory, which has 9 production lines manufacturing anticancer drugs, was established with an investment of 100 million Euros.

When it comes to biotechnological drugs, Iran is also in a position to compete with the world, so much so that Iran is exporting its biotech drugs to such countries as Russia and Turkey.

Due to unilateral sanctions by Trump administration, Iran plans for the production of 135 strategic pharmaceutical products inside the country with the help of local knowledge-based companies and start-ups: 27 biological medicines, 50 chemical drugs, and 58 drug precursors whose imports would cost the country around $570 million are going to be “made in Iran." It is worth noting that pharmaceutical products made by the domestic knowledge-based companies and start-ups are worth $1.2 billion.

On the other hand, Twenty knowledge-based companies in Iran are exporting a wide range of laboratory equipment to China, South Korea, Malaysia, Ecuador, Cuba, and some European countries.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020