Background: International economic sanctions (IES) influence a country’s economic development and the overall welfare of a nation’s population.
Methods: An electronic search of PubMed, Embase and Web of Science was conducted until July 31, 2019. Additionally, a list of references to related articles was reviewed. Key search terms were “Economics”, “Health”, “Sanction”, and their equivalents with no language or time restriction.
Results: Totally, 8624 records were identified of which 2869 duplicates were deleted. Finally, 24 papers met the inclusion criteria and were selected for drafting. The number of papers included for evaluating each factor included healthcare (n=16) and pharmaceutical industry (n=10). Nine and eight studies examined the effect of sanctions imposed on Iran and Iraq, respectively. France, Haiti, Serbia, Cuba, Syria, and other areas such as Africa were also evaluated. Sanctions lead to a decrease in immunization rates and government health care expenditures. Sanctions increase infant and under-five mortality rate, road traffic injuries and fatalities, severe malnutrition, infective diseases, neurologic and visual disorders, as well as shortage of medical or dental instruments and a variety of medicines. Sanctions have adverse impacts on female labor and are associated with disabling hospitals, dispersing medical workers, and facilities for radiation therapy.
Conclusion: The health status of sanctioned nations in terms of healthcare, and pharmaceutical industry was adversely affected in targeted countries.