Tasnim – The world’s top insulin-maker, Novo Nordisk of Denmark, has unveiled a production line of the drug in Iran, the Iranian health minister said.
Saeed Namaki inaugurated the plant’s production line, located in Alborz province, west of Tehran, via video conference.
“Today we are witnessing the inauguration of one of the most important projects since the (Islamic) revolution with the joint investment of Iran and Denmark,” he said, Bourse & Bazaar reported.
Namaki expressed hope that Iran could soon become a “drug distribution and production center” for the Middle East.
The Danish pharmaceuticals giant has sold its products in Iran since 2005 through its subsidiary, Novo Nordisk Pars.
It signaled its intention to construct the 70 million euro ($83 million) facility in 2015 and said it would take five years to complete.
Drugs and medical equipment are technically exempt from the US sanctions, but purchases are frequently blocked by the unwillingness of banks to process purchases for fear of incurring large penalties in the United States.
According to the head of Iran’s food and drug administration, Iranian diabetic patients require 800,000 insulin pens per month.
Novo Nordisk has promised to save Iran 25 million euros in the first year and 45 million euros in the second after production starts.