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September 24, 2015.
A proposed Novo Nordisk plant in Iran, likely to commence production around 2020, will serve a "huge market for insulin". According to Y.S. Shashidhar, Frost & Sullivan's Partner & Managing Director, South Asia, Middle East & North Africa, around 9% of the population of Iran suffer from diabetes; in the last few years "the number of diabetic patients has been increasing at a CAGR of around 15-16%".
The new Novo plant will target the local population first, then cater to the regional demand. Insulin currently represents only 2.7% of the total pharma expenditure in Iran. Domestic production of the drug would reportedly offer a price advantage of 2.5 times against imports of insulin. Consequently, the Iranian government is providing tax exemptions for the establishment of pharma units that can cater to the local demand as well as focus on export markets.