Iranians have inaugurated the production line of interferon beta 1, generically known as Ziferon, an effective drug in treating patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).
During the ceremony, Iranian Minister of Health Marzieh Vahid-Dastgerdi noted that mass production of the drug makes the country independent of importing such medications.
“The Iran-made drug is as effective as the foreign ones and can prevent the transfer of more than USD 30 billion foreign currencies from the country,” Vahid-Dastgerdi added.
She went on to say that the drug is safe, stressing that physicians should be encouraged to prescribe the Iranian version of the drug for their patients.
Ziferon, mainly injected subcutaneously, has antiviral and immunomodulating properties. The drug is mainly used in the management of multiple sclerosis; its mode of action, however, remains unclear.
The Center for Pharmaceutical Products have already produced five biotechnological drugs, making Ziferon the sixth medication produced by the company.
Dr Fazeli, the dean of the company, announced that the company will produce ten more drugs in the coming two years.
More than 650,000 interferon beta 1 are annually imported to the country. Resigene (interferon beta 1a) and Cinnovex are other Iran-made MS drug which have entered the market in the past few years.