The Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil) has initiated discussions with the Iranian authorities and industry on the steps needed to be taken to revive pharma exports to Iran.

“There has been a decrease in Indian pharma exports to Iran. We had discussions with the Iranian Drug Regulator and other senior officials besides the industry,’‘ R Uday Bhaskar, Director General, Pharmexcil told businessline from Tehran. 

From $200 million in 2019-20, Indian pharma exports to Iran steadily declined to $59 million in 2022-23. The decline is driven by issues in payments.

As India reduced import of oil from Iran, the rupee reserves of Iran, which is located in the strategic junction of Central Asia, South Asia and Arab States of the Middle East dwindled and led to a drop in imports of drugs from India. The dip in imports from India is now substituted by those from China and indirect import from the Gulf countries, according to industry sources. 

“Iranian drug market is about $2.8 billion and there is good potential for our pharma company to step up exports as they are in need of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and formulations,’‘ Pharmexcil chief said. 

My interaction with the Iranian Food and Drug Administration Chief and Mohammad Abdehzadeh, Chairman of Board, Syndicate of Iranian Pharmaceutical Industries on potential areas of collaboration between India and Iran in pharma and biopharma was positive and we work together on boosting pharma exports to Iran,’’ Bhaskar said.

The Indian Ambassador to Iran, Rudra Gaurav Shresth is also coordinating the efforts and meeting was held with all stakeholders including the UCO Bank.