Iran experiences shortages with anti-hemophilia drugs, has high rate of kidney-related disorders

Posted on December 1, 2012

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iran-med1Iran is experiencing big shortages of drugs for treating hemophilia, former CEO of Iran’s Hemophilia treating Association, Ahmed Ghavidel said, ILNA reported.

“Because of anti-hemophilia drug shortages in the country, many patients have developed cedtain disabilities,” Ghavidel said, adding that the there is either a limited access to hemophilia-treating medicine, or it isn’t present at all.

Ghavidel added that such shortages have forced doctors to treat hemophiliacs with old drugs.

“One such treatment is with use of concentrated substance, and such can be only done at a hospital, the patient is not able to do it at home,” Ghavidel noted.

He also said that the country’s Ministry of Health is not able to control the situation with these drugs in the country, and even when there was not shortage of medicine in Iran, it still could not manage the supplies correctly.

“More than 70 percent of hemophiliacs have some sort of disabilities, which may not be visible at first sight,” Ghavidel said. “However that’s what it is, as sometimes it may be a hand, or a knee, a disability to bend, and so on.”

The official statistics say that some 7,000 hemophiliacs live in Iran. Around 20 percent of that figure live in Tehran, with the rest being spread all over country’s provinces.

Ghavidel noted that if considering the 70-million population of Iran, there are approximately 35,000 hemophiliacs living in the country, however many of those cases remain unknown.

iran-flaggedKidney transplants from brain-dead patients

Vice Chairman for Iran’s Supreme Medical Council, doctor Mohamad Reza Norouzi told Mehr News agency that Iran also experiences problems with overall peoples health, as one of every five of them in Iran needs to be checked for his/her physical condition.

Norouzi spoke of kidney-related diseases, and said that in 2011, about 30 percent of population in Iran (about 14 million) all have kidney failures.

“They all need check-ups, as every year it is estimated that the number of dialysis patients increases by some 20 percent in Iran,” he said.

In medicine dialysis is a process for removing waste and excess water from the blood, and is used primarily to provide an artificial replacement for lost kidney function in people with renal failure.

Dialysis may be used for those with an acute disturbance in kidney function (acute kidney injury, previously acute renal failure), or progressive but chronically worsening kidney function-a state known as chronic kidney disease stage 5 (previously chronic renal failure or end-stage renal disease).

The latter form may develop over months or years, but in contrast to acute kidney injury is not usually reversible, and dialysis is regarded as a “holding measure” until a renal transplant can be performed, or sometimes as the only supportive measure in those for whom a transplant would be inappropriate.

Norouzi noted that Iran has shortage of dialysis machines, noting that there are some 450 places across Iran where some 4,500 such machines are installed.

He said that the 4,500 figure should be at least 6,000, and the half of the existing machines should be substituted, as they are out of date already.

Norouzi said that the most effective way to treat a kidney failure is to use transplants from the brain-dead patients.

“Nearly 32 thousand kidney transplant operations were carried out in Iran since 1986,” he said, adding that annually, there are some 2,000 such operations performed in Iran.

Of those annual 2,000 operations, according to Norouzi, 590 operations were done with brain-dead patients serving as donors in 2010, and in 2011 this figure grew to 760 operations.

Because of international sanctions imposed against Iran for its nuclear program, the harsh restrictions have also affected the medicine imports into the country.

Iran’s Science Education Agency recently reported that country’s labs have nearly gone bankrupt because of sanctions.

Former head of Iran’s Laboratories’ Management, current assistant to head doctor in Bahonar hospital in Tehran, Hossein Gholami said that while 85-95 percent of labs in Iran are fully standardized, they are not being supported by the government.

He added that the labs are forced to work by tariffs set by the government, and if the inflation and prices continue to rise, these factors would affect the labs’ sustainability.

Gholami said that due to high prices and current economic problems in the country, the number of people visiting labs has greatly reduced, since visitors are not able to pay the necessary costs, adding that f such situation continues, a lot of laboratories in Iran will simply close down.

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