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Interview with Danny Annan on developments in the health sector

19.12.2016  06:48

Iranian newspaper Sepid has interviewed the Danish Ambassador, Mr. Danny Annan, on developments and prospects within the pharmaceutical sector and cooperation between Denmark and Iran.

Read the full interview below.

Q: How do you assess the cooperation between Iran and Denmark? Are there possibilities to cooperate in other sectors besides the health sector?

A: Generally we have witnessed positive changes over the last year. The scope of cooperation has extended to levels that we have never reached before. We have good relations in the field of pharmaceuticals. Today for the very first time we are holding a seminar together with the Ministries of Health of Iran and Denmark and the Iranian and Danish Patent and Trademark Offices. There will also be a MoU signed tomorrow between Iran’s Intellectual Property Office and the Danish Patent and Trademark Office, which will be the beginning of more official cooperation between the two countries.

Q: How much of Denmark’s GDP is spent in the health sector?

A: Around 10 %

Q: How do you see the health sector in Denmark? Do you have any information regarding the differences between the two countries?

A: I see a lot of similarities. We have a large government sector in both Iran and Denmark. In fact almost all of the hospitals in Denmark are run by the state, they are therefore free of charge for everyone and people don’t need to worry about the bills when they are returning from hospital. In Iran I have visited some of the hospitals and had meetings with doctors, and I have witnessed that the level of hygiene and therapy in Iran is good. So I believe that it is rather necessary that our countries have fruitful cooperation.

Q: Is increased cooperation in the medical and pharmaceutical fields going to be on the agenda?

A: Last January, when the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark visited Iran, several meetings were held with a view to strengthen and broader the level of cooperation. We hope that in 2017 the Danish Minister of Health will visit Iran or that his Iranian colleague Dr. Hashemi could visit Denmark. I believe this area is one the most important grounds for cooperation. Therefore I am confident that this is only the beginning for increased cooperation between Iran and Denmark in the near future.

Q: What kinds of products are going to be produced at the new Novo Nordisk factory? Is it just Insulin injection?

A: The new Novo Nordisk factory that is currently built in Iran is going to produce the so-called FLEXPEN – an insulin product that patients can use directly themselves. The new factory is a very important investment for both Iran and Novo Nordisk. As far as I know, this is one of the first foreign investments conducted in Iran where a MoU was signed even before the lifting of the international sanctions.