Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 09:23
Representatives of the pharmaceutical industry took part in the forum – BG Pharma, ARPharM, the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), the Ministry of Health, the Bulgarian Drug Agency, Sopharma, distribution companies. They all shared the opinion that the problems in the field of healthcare cannot be solved without an active and continuous dialogue between the interested parties. Participants agreed that society would be successful if a meeting point could be found between interests, principles and prices and that when we talk about price, we should think also about values. The focus of all efforts is patient’s rights and health as a higher good.
Dr Dimitar Petrov, Deputy Manager of NHIF stated that the Fund worked on the control of granting medicines and on hospital expenses. Reaching a balance between prescribing innovative and generic medicines was of great importance. This balance was an opportunity to release public resources in healthcare.
According to Nikolay Hadzhidonchev, chairman of BG Pharma and Executive Director of Actavis-Teva, a change of policies towards generic manufacturers was also required to prevent withdrawal of some medicines from the market.
Prices of medicines in Bulgaria are the lowest in the EU but the additional payment by the patients is among the highest one – between 50 and 55%. According to Vladimir Afenliev, representative of Sopharma and of the Executive Committee of the European Generic Association, that was precisely how the illusion for their high prices was created, while for the manufacturers they were at the bare minimum.
At the same time, the prices of OTC products are regulated, while food supplements are not controlled.
One of the major problems the pharmaceutical companies are facing is the lack of predictability and permanence in healthcare during the past 20 years. Consensus and sustainability are required for the healthcare to develop further.
Bulgarian generic manufacturers, in his words, had a social function as well. 10% of the manufacturers of generic medicines in Europe operate in Bulgaria, and the companies Teva-Actavis and Sopharma provide over 50% of medicine packages to the Bulgarian market.
This places the country at the first places in generic manufacture. However, it is necessary to overcome the imbalance between generic and original medicines.
The forum “Pharmacy – between Innovative and Generic Medicines” is a part of the national campaign “New BG Economy” organised by 24 Hours Newspaper and .BG Innovator Magazine.