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Pharmaceuticals are a substantial and crucial element of health care provision in all countries, and in many cases are essential in ensuring patient recovery and continued good health (Zaboli et al., 2016). Most countries endeavor to provide appropriate medications ensuring access and affordability for all levels of individuals in society. Given that Canada is a developed country that has universal health care coverage and supplies pharmaceuticals to the world market, it still has not given pharmaceutical coverage to most of its citizens. Another issue is that Canada has the third highest cost of pharmaceuticals in the world (Morgan & Boothe, 2016). In contrast, Iran, which is a developing country in the Middle East, has developed a new pharmaceutical industry in recent years. Manufacturing and importing raw materials or finished medications to ensure their availability and affordability to its population is one significant goal of Iran’s government (Cheragali, 2006). Nevertheless, the lack of principal pharmaceuticals can be observed in Iran due to regulatory barriers. Iran still is attempting to develop its pharmaceutical industry to the level of developed countries like Canada (Saravi, 2014). Although both countries have striven to provide better pharmaceutical coverage and access to most types of medications for hospitals and their patients, they nonetheless find it difficult to overcome all barriers. This essay compares similarities and differences between Canada and Iran with respect to their medicine price, the market, and pharmaceutical barriers.

Pharmaceuticals are a significant part of healthcare coverage, but Canada’s coverage of this service is far less extensive than Iran’s. Canada prides itself on a universal health care system which is known as Medicare, but it doesn’t include prescription drug coverage for some citizens (Morgan & Boothe, 2016). The lack of universal coverage for essential pharmaceuticals is a substantial limitation of the Canadian healthcare system. It creates many problems due to the inaccessibility of drugs for patients, and medication prices. Because of a lack of subsidized pharma care, 1 in 10 Canadians are not able to get their prescription medicines at a higher rate than most other developed countries (“Pharmacare question and answer”, 2018).

Like Canada, Iran has a well-developed healthcare system, but it is more comprehensive in its coverage of pharmaceuticals. Over the last two decades, different methods have been implemented to provide universal health care with pharmaceuticals as part of its program. for Iranian citizens. Despite a lot of difficulties, the Iranian government has succeeded in developing medication coverage and the pharmaceutical industry. Thus, providing access to pharmaceuticals for poor people has improved greatly with government investment in local mass production of medicines. In addition, pharma coverage has helped people pay the lower cost of prescriptions and medical supplies (Cheragali, 2006).

The cost of medication has increased gradually in both countries, but the ratio of differences can be considerable. The cost of medication has increased by more than 10% to 20% in Canada, whereas, Iran’s pharmaceutical costs have increased by more than 722% between the years 2001-2011 (Saravi, 2014). The difference in operations between the two countries is substantial. Canada has attempted to control increasing pharmaceutical costs which have been more than 25%. The Canadian government has committed to paying the surplus of medical expenses from the costs of each province to compensate for the price increase (Government of Canada, 2019). Also, Canada has organized new plans to cover more new pharmaceuticals, hospital pharmaceuticals, and control pharmaceutical usage to handle prices.

Like other medical systems, Iran also has faced high costs of new pharmaceuticals. Part of the increase in medicine’s price was due to the privatization of public pharmaceutical manufacturers. Owing to Iran’s inability to control the price of drugs compared to developed countries like Canada, costs have risen more than 90% in the past decade between 2001 and 2011 (Bastani et al., 2016). As a result, the Iranian government has been trying to regain control of the industry. Growing pharmaceutical costs in Iran indicate that these attempts are still in process, and have not been implemented completely (Cheragali, 2006).

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Both countries supply their drugs to many countries, and they also are large pharmaceutical markets in themselves. Canada is the 10th largest pharmaceutical market in the world owing to two reasons. First of all, the increase in the elderly population in Canada has caused pharmaceutical sales to rise from $18 billion in 2015 to $20 billion in 2019. Also, many of the world’s drugs are manufactured in Canada. Moreover, this country has commercial relations with the US and other continental states, and sales of pharmaceuticals to these countries have increased in Canada. (“ITA Pharmaceuticals Top Markets Report”, 2016).

Iran also is the largest developing country in the Middle East and it has been able to export its medicines to all countries in the Middle East and has been achieved to get 10% of the Middle East’s market. Iran maintains its local market by importing raw materials or finished products from developed countries for its industry (Saravi, 2014). As a result of this sale, around $1 billion per year, essential medicines are becoming available and affordable for more than 90% of Iranians (Cheragali, 2006).

Both countries have restricted rules for importing different pharmaceuticals from other countries, but Iran also has faced international trade barriers to import its required medications.

Restrictive regulations are another barrier to the import of pharmaceuticals to Canada. Those wishing to do business in Canada must follow regulations related to size labeling, and packaging and prepare sufficient documentation which has made to import of medicines to Canada a difficult and complex process (“Canada-trade barriers”, 2019).

An important barrier to Iran’s pharmaceutical trade includes regional and international sanctions which have been broadly imposed on Iran for both political and economic reasons over the last 10 years (Cheragali, 2006). Due to this issue, the government and the Iranian central bank have not received adequate foreign currency, which has influenced all internal firms and external trading. Pharmaceutical companies in Iran have to pay in advance to import their medicines. This condition has affected the national health industry, which has resulted in a reduction in the importation of pharmaceuticals (Cheragali, 2006).

Although the history of pharmaceuticals in Iran and Canada dates back more than one hundred years, most of the medical activities have been carried out by governments in this sector. This industry has been divided into public and private sectors in both countries. They both have striven to provide accessibility and affordability for their population but they have not been completely successful. Canada can’t provide universal pharmaceutical coverage for its people. Thus, many people face a lack of drugs and the resulting health problems. Iran has a better function in this respect. Nevertheless, Iran can’t import essential pharmaceuticals for its patients due to international regulations and trade barriers. Overall, both countries should modify their rules and policies to provide needed pharmaceuticals and overcome the current barriers for their patients and populations.

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