The Challenge of International Sanctions against Iranian Radio-Pharmaceutical Industry

Document Type : Original Article


Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology


This paper is about Iranian health industry facing the challenges created by the comprehensive international sanctions. This paper aims to give a realistic account of the different positive and negative impacts of the factor of international collaboration (or rather, the lack thereof) on the dual aspects of "technological and non-technological" catching up process. The case study is radio-pharmaceutical industry in Iran during the international sanctions (2000-2013) and the aftermath. The theoretical foundation relies on a hybrid framework of technological innovation systems approach and global value chain analysis. Drawing on the first pillar, it evaluates the structural and functional analysis of the radiopharmaceutical innovation system which is now technologically self-reliant to meet the domestic needs. The study of global value chain as the second pillar, sets the backdrop to evaluate Iranian status for market-entry in the region. The paper concludes that the international sanctions have worked as inducers to reach to the technological catching –up while blocking it to entry into the regional market. The paper offers some suggestion for policy advice at the end. As the policy advice, the paper maintains that Iran is now poised, to stretch its market to neighboring countries and benefit from the geographical and relational proximity it has within the region. It proves to be not an easy task, however. To attain this objective, it needs to establish a costly infrastructure and update different laws and regulations like FD, intellectual property right and create the right atmosphere for entrepreneurship, a process of institutional catch-up which requires a separate study.


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