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A news media analysis of economic sanction effects on access to medicine in Iran.

Kheirandish M, Rashidian A, Bigdeli M - J Res Pharm Pract (2015 Oct-Dec)

Bottom Line: While the sanctions do not target health care systems or public health structures, they may, in fact, affect the availability of health care in target countries.We searched the sources using the general term "medicine" to reduce the chances of missing relevant items.Our analysis provides evidence of negative effects of the sanctions on access to medicines in Iran.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmaceutical Management, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

ABSTRACT

Objective: In the past decades economic sanctions have been used by different countries or international organizations in order to deprive target countries of some transactions. While the sanctions do not target health care systems or public health structures, they may, in fact, affect the availability of health care in target countries. In this study, we used media analysis to assess the impacts of recent sanctions imposed by the Central Bank of Iran in 2012 on access to medicines in Iran.

Methods: We searched different sources of written news media including a database of nonspecialized weeklies and magazines, online news sources, web pages of daily newspapers and healthcare oriented weeklies from 2011 to 2013. We searched the sources using the general term "medicine" to reduce the chances of missing relevant items. The identified news media were read, and categorized under three groups of items announcing "shortage of medicines," "medicines related issues" and "no shortage." We conducted trend analyzes to see whether the news media related to access to medicines were affected by the economic sanctions.

Findings: A total number of 371 relevant news media were collected. The number of news media related to medicines substantially increased in the study period: 30 (8%), 161 (43%) and 180 (49%) were published in 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively. While 145 (39%) of media items referred to the shortage of medicines, 97 (26%) reported no shortage or alleviating of concerns.

Conclusion: Media analysis suggests a clear increase in the number of news media reporting a shortage in Iran after the sanctions. In 2013, there were accompanying increases in the number of news media reporting alleviation of the shortages of medicines. Our analysis provides evidence of negative effects of the sanctions on access to medicines in Iran.

No MeSH data available.


Monthly trend of news media categorized by content (2011–2013)
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Figure 3: Monthly trend of news media categorized by content (2011–2013)

Mentions: Figure 1 shows an increasing trend of all related news media during the studied period based on their content at 6 monthly intervals. As shown in this figure, their algebraic sum was positive in general and changed from + 7 during in the period April–June 2011 to + 40.5 during June–September 2013. We had hypothesized a priori that the Webda website, because of its affiliations to the Ministry of Health was likely to give a better coverage to “improved availability or no shortage” category of the news items. Hence, we assessed the trends after removing all the items reported in the Webda [Figure 2]. This did not change the results dramatically: A positive trend remained changing from + 7.5 in the second quarter of 2011 to + 43.5 in the first quarter of 2013. Figure 3 provides a monthly analysis of the identified items, demonstrating a clear surge in the number of related items since early March alongside with the peak of the economic sanctions inflicted upon Iran.


A news media analysis of economic sanction effects on access to medicine in Iran.

Kheirandish M, Rashidian A, Bigdeli M - J Res Pharm Pract (2015 Oct-Dec)

Monthly trend of news media categorized by content (2011–2013)
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4645132&req=5

Figure 3: Monthly trend of news media categorized by content (2011–2013)
Mentions: Figure 1 shows an increasing trend of all related news media during the studied period based on their content at 6 monthly intervals. As shown in this figure, their algebraic sum was positive in general and changed from + 7 during in the period April–June 2011 to + 40.5 during June–September 2013. We had hypothesized a priori that the Webda website, because of its affiliations to the Ministry of Health was likely to give a better coverage to “improved availability or no shortage” category of the news items. Hence, we assessed the trends after removing all the items reported in the Webda [Figure 2]. This did not change the results dramatically: A positive trend remained changing from + 7.5 in the second quarter of 2011 to + 43.5 in the first quarter of 2013. Figure 3 provides a monthly analysis of the identified items, demonstrating a clear surge in the number of related items since early March alongside with the peak of the economic sanctions inflicted upon Iran.

Bottom Line: While the sanctions do not target health care systems or public health structures, they may, in fact, affect the availability of health care in target countries.We searched the sources using the general term "medicine" to reduce the chances of missing relevant items.Our analysis provides evidence of negative effects of the sanctions on access to medicines in Iran.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmaceutical Management, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

ABSTRACT

Objective: In the past decades economic sanctions have been used by different countries or international organizations in order to deprive target countries of some transactions. While the sanctions do not target health care systems or public health structures, they may, in fact, affect the availability of health care in target countries. In this study, we used media analysis to assess the impacts of recent sanctions imposed by the Central Bank of Iran in 2012 on access to medicines in Iran.

Methods: We searched different sources of written news media including a database of nonspecialized weeklies and magazines, online news sources, web pages of daily newspapers and healthcare oriented weeklies from 2011 to 2013. We searched the sources using the general term "medicine" to reduce the chances of missing relevant items. The identified news media were read, and categorized under three groups of items announcing "shortage of medicines," "medicines related issues" and "no shortage." We conducted trend analyzes to see whether the news media related to access to medicines were affected by the economic sanctions.

Findings: A total number of 371 relevant news media were collected. The number of news media related to medicines substantially increased in the study period: 30 (8%), 161 (43%) and 180 (49%) were published in 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively. While 145 (39%) of media items referred to the shortage of medicines, 97 (26%) reported no shortage or alleviating of concerns.

Conclusion: Media analysis suggests a clear increase in the number of news media reporting a shortage in Iran after the sanctions. In 2013, there were accompanying increases in the number of news media reporting alleviation of the shortages of medicines. Our analysis provides evidence of negative effects of the sanctions on access to medicines in Iran.

No MeSH data available.