Pharmaceutical Industries

According to the definition of the World Health Organization, a drug is any substance that is used in pharmaceutical processes and causes the discovery or modification of physiological processes or disease states in order to improve the consumer. By this definition, pharmaceutical products are a form of medicine that contains one or more other drugs with other ingredients added to their production.

Pharmaceutical products are one of the most strategic products of a country and developments in this field can have a great impact on the strategic parameters of a country. It should be noted that according to the classification made by the University of Oxford by Sanjaya Lal (Source: Sanjaya Lall, (2000)) in 2000, drugs and medical equipment are classified in the group of high-tech industries.

In the selection and evaluation of capable goods for import, the factor which is of great significance and should be taken into account is total value of imported goods in recent years and from the target country. In this regard, the highest value among all imported goods from Switzerland belongs to Pharmaceutical goods with 4-digit tariff code (HS code 3004) and HS code No. 300490 in particular. In 2022, the value of goods imported from Switzerland in this tariff row was 34,910 thousand dollars which is 22.8% of total value of imported goods from this country and in all tariff rows (152.823 thousand dollars).


This is while the value of this tariff row in 2021 was 47,378 thousand dollars compared to the total value of imports in all tariff rows (1,529,811 thousand dollars) from Switzerland in the same year.


It is worth mentioning that the total value of imports from the world to Iran was 26,958,431 thousand dollars in 2022, and China, Brazil and Turkey were the countries in the first to third places respectively. Switzerland was also located in the 21st place in this list, which was fallen in comparison to its 5th place with a value of about 10 times in 2021.

Statistics of pharmaceutical industry

The tariff code for the pharmaceutical industry includes a 2-digit code of 30. In 2019, the value of global drug commerce in the world was as follows.


In 1399, the import of medicine from all over the world to Iran was equal to 1158150180 dollars (Source: Islamic Republic of Iran Customs). The main importers of pharmaceutical products are the United States, Germany, Belgium and China, of which Iran is the 64th importer country of these products among the countries in the world.

Germany, Switzerland, the United States and Ireland are also the largest exporters of drugs in the world. the notable point is in this sector Switzerland, which is the second largest exporter of drugs in the world in 2019 with 83047883 thousand dollars in exports. And among Iran's trading partners in the field of medicine, Switzerland was ranked fourth in 1399.

Statistics of drug exportation in world countries (Source:

In the European union demand for various markets are considerably different. According to 2016 data, about 30% of pharmaceutical exports went to the European Union, 11% to Germany, 11% to Italy and about 8% to France and Spain. The UK market has grown to 13% of exports to the EU. The pharmaceutical industry is Switzerland's most important export industry. Despite the difficult economic situation, the Swiss pharmaceutical industry has been able to expand its global sales in the last few years, which makes the pharmaceutical sector the main driver of the Swiss export industry. About three-quarters of industrial growth over the past decade is in the pharmaceutical industry, which has also contributed significantly to GDP growth over the past decade. (Source: The Importance of the Pharmaceutical Industry for Switzerland, BAK Economics AG)

Pharmaceutical export growth chart (Source: The Importance of the Pharmaceutical Industry for Switzerland, BAK Economics AG)

According to a report published by the Deputy Minister of Economic Studies Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture medicine was one of the most non-agricultural commodities imported to Switzerland in 2016.

Major table of imported Swiss non-agricultural goods in 2016 (Source: Deputy of Economic Studies of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, Trade, Foreign Investment and Industrial Production, Switzerland;)

Import of medicine in Iran requires obtaining the relevant licenses. The most important organizations related to drug licensing in Iran are the Food and Drug Administration and the Industry, Mining and Trade Organization.