Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Bulgaria Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Report Q1 2013", is now available at Fast Market Research
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/20/2013 -- BMI View: The Bulgarian government is planning to earmark some BGN150-160mn (US$98.65- 105.23mn) in additional funding for healthcare in 2013, the government's press service cited Prime Minister Boyko Borisov as saying in October 2012. The funds are expected to be used to purchase new equipment, upgrade hospitals and generally improve Bulgarian health services. We have long highlighted the likelihood of increased public spending ahead of the 2013 parliamentary election, although we do not foresee significant risks to fiscal sustainability, given that Bulgaria has the second lowest public debt load in the European Union - at 17.5% of GDP (end-2011). However, as BMI has been warning since February 2012, the government has pushed ahead with changes to Bulgaria's pricing and reimbursement regime. For example, the external reference pricing mechanism for pharmaceuticals, which now takes into account 12 countries - up from eight previously - is expected to have a negative effect on the prices of a number of medicines listed for reimbursement.
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Headline Expenditure Projections
- Pharmaceuticals: BGN2.10bn (US$1.49bn) in 2011 to BGN2.23bn (US$1.44bn) in 2012; +6.1% in local currency terms and -3.3% in US dollar terms. Forecast unchanged since Q412.
- Healthcare: BGN5.12bn (US$3.64bn) in 2011 to BGN5.22bn (US$3.38bn) in 2012; +1.9% in local currency terms and -7.1% in US dollar terms. Forecast unchanged since Q412.
- Medical Devices: BGN281mn (US$200mn) in 2011 to BGN285mn (US$185mn) in 2012; +1.7% in local currency terms and -7.4% in US dollar terms. Forecast unchanged since Q412.
Risk/Reward Ratings: Bulgaria is tenth out of the 20 markets surveyed in the region, even though the country's score remained unchanged in Q113, at 52 out of 100. The score takes into account the challenges for drugmakers operating in Bulgaria, such as the downward pressure on the prices of drugs, in addition to positive factors such as the increasing per capita consumption of medicines. Globally, Bulgaria is ranked 44th out of 95 markets surveyed in total.
Key Trends And Developments
- As part of what is expected to be a string of measures to reduce pharmaceutical prices in the country, in early July 2012, the Bulgarian Minister of Health confirmed that the prices of medicines in Bulgaria will decrease due to a 2% drop in surplus charges for wholesale and retail traders in medicines. The drop is included in proposed modifications to the ordinance establishing price formation and reimbursement rules. While not explicitly stating by how much the prices will fall, the minister did say that steps have been planned to enable a significant decrease in medicine prices. In the meantime, the funds saved from the decrease in prices could be used by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to pay for additional medicines.
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