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Impacts of the international economic sanctions on Iranian patients with epilepsy

      Highlights

      • 244 patients participated.
      • 92 patients (37.7%) claimed that they have had significant difficulty obtaining their AEDs.
      • 37 patients (15.2%) said that their AED(s) was not accessible.
      • 72% of those receiving imported AEDs and 30% of those receiving home-made AEDs had hardship (p = 0.00001).
      • Sanctions has affected ordinary people, especially those who are vulnerable the most (i.e., patients), significantly.

      Abstract

      Purpose

      On May 8, 2018, the United States announced that it was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal. This has resulted in reimposition of the economic hardship on Iran. We investigated the patients' perceptions of hardship in obtaining their antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) after the reimposition of sanctions.

      Methods

      We surveyed patients with epilepsy visiting three centers in Iran on February 2nd to 6th (easy sampling) on their perceptions on two issues:
      • 1.
        What has been your experience on obtaining your AEDs in the past six months?
      • 2.
        Have you experienced any changes in your seizure control in the past six months?

      Results

      Two hundred and forty-four patients participated. Ninety-two patients (37.7%) claimed that they have had significant difficulty obtaining their AEDs, and 37 patients (15.2%) said that their AED(s) was not accessible. Ninety-six people (72%) of those receiving imported AEDs and 33 patients (30%) of those receiving homemade AEDs had significant hardship obtaining their drugs (p = 0.00001). Forty-seven patients (36%) of those who reported significant hardship obtaining their AEDs and 25 (22%) of those who did not, perceived worsening of their seizures (p = 0.017).

      Conclusion

      Sanctions have affected ordinary people, especially those who are vulnerable the most (i.e., patients), significantly.

      Keywords

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