New Market Report: Bulgaria Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Report Q3 2013

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Tue Aug 06 2013

According to industry sources, the Bulgarian pharmaceuticals market has reached a standstill. This is expected to continue throughout 2013, due to the decline in drug prices and the stagnant health insurance fund budget. We expect that the market will post single-digit value increase, on account of inflationary pressures and continued volume demand. Political uncertainty will also add to the negative pressures affecting the wider healthcare market.

Headline Expenditure Projections

* Pharmaceuticals: BGN2.22bn (US$1.46bn) in 2012 to BGN2.31bn (US$1.58bn) in 2013; +3.8% in local currency terms and +8.0% in US dollar terms. Local currency forecast broadly in line with Q213 figures.
* Healthcare: BGN5.60bn (US$3.68bn) in 2012 to BGN5.77bn (US$3.94bn) in 2013; +3.0% in local currency terms and +7.1% in US dollar terms. Local currency forecast broadly in line with Q213 figures, despite slight upward revision of historical figures.

Risk/Reward Ratings: Following a minor adjustment of our Pharmaceutical Risk/Reward Rating (RRR) assessment methodology, Bulgaria rose one place from tenth to ninth place in our Emerging Europe table, which covers 20 countries. Bulgaria's Risks and Rewards scores are now slightly above the regional averages. The scores take into account the challenges for drugmakers operating in Bulgaria such as the downward pressure on the prices of drugs and the uncertain political outlook, in addition to positive factors, such as the increasing per capita consumption of medicines.

Full Report Details at

Key Trends And Developments

* In April 2013, the Bulgarian Red Cross received a donation worth BGN50,000 (US$33,437) from Icelandic pharmaceutical company Actavis. The donation took the form of medicines from the company's products range, including essential drugs such as painkillers, medicines to reduce temperature, treatments for stomach aches and coughs, antibiotics and treatments for cardiovascular ailments. The donations will also include vitamins and poly-vitamins, joint and arthritic pain relieving gels, antihistamines and cough syrups for children. It is reported that the Bulgarian Red Cross will pass these medicines to hospitals and social shelters in Bulgaria.
* In the same month, the Public Health Council in Bulgaria urged the health ministry to remove Greece from the list of reference countries used to calculate the prices of reimbursed drugs in Bulgaria. The council's request came in the wake of complaints from representatives of pharmaceutical associations about numerous errors in the Greek drug-pricing bulletin, making the country's drug prices unsuitable for referencing. The ministry will analyse the possible effects of removing Greece from the list before coming to any conclusion. The Bulgarian Association for the Protection of Patients has indicated that it is pushing for Belgium to replace Greece in the list of reference countries.

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