Impact of Sanctions on Cancer Care in Iran

Document Type: EDITORIAL

Author

Mashhad University of Medical Sciences

Abstract

The right to health accepted as an essential human right.The US administration’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal on May 2018, increased attention to the impact of sanctions on the health of more than 80 million Iranians. Sanctions will damage the Iran public health-care system, notably patients suffered from cancer. Cancers are the third cause of death in Iran. Diagnosis of malignancy is based on precise imaging studies and correct pathological results. To make a definite pathologic diagnosis, usually it is mandatory to add Immunohistochemical finding and genomic study with Histological finding . Furthermore, recent studies insist on the role of new imaging technology like whole body MRI in earlier detection of tumor spreading through the body. Economic sanctions target the government general budget and decrease Iran currency value, so the cost of these diagnosis methods will increase too much that the public health insurance wouldn’t afford them. Iran Radiotherapy facilities are less than world standard level. During the embargo before 2015, the amount of these facilities had fallen sharply. New chemotherapy drugs and new biologic anti-cancer agents are too expensive for the Iran public insurance system. Meticulous Surgery in cancers is related to the high-tech equipment’s. Difficulties in holding license for export of medical apparatus, financial transaction, and shipping insurance as well as fear of possible U.S. ban on international medical companies and international banks restrict the pathway of buying equipment needed for these surgeries. Moreover, Sanctions will endanger the cancer research in this country.

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