Patients' Organizations: 59% of Imported Medicines in Bulgaria Re-exported Later on

Sofia, January 3 (BTA) - A total of 59 per cent of the medicines imported in Bulgaria from EU Member States are re-exported later on, said here on Wednesday head of the Pituitary Association Vanya Dobreva at a BTA-hosted news conference. Dobreva and Dr. Stoycho Katsarov of the Centre for the Protection of Rights in Healthcare presented data about the import and export of drugs in Bulgaria and the lack of life-saving medications across Bulgarian pharmacies.

According to Katsarov, there is complete chaos surrounding the import and sale of medicines, while the information systems are obviously not working. Measures are needed to counter the re-export of medicines, he said, explaining, that re-exporting is a legal activity, but the bad thing is that Bulgarian patients are left without medicines.

Katsarov attributes the shortage of medicines to the drastic price difference of medicines registered in Bulgaria and other countries. "When a certain drug costs 1,000 leva in Bulgaria, but the same medicine sells for 2,000 leva in Germany, the most logical and legal thing is for someone to purchase it officially and export it to Germany, for example," he said.

According to him, changes are needed which would impact "the nature of re-exporting medicines", so that the economic sense and stimulus to purchase drugs here and export them to other countries would be removed.

Vanya Dobreva said that for years EU Member States have been applying various measures to restrict the parallel export of medicines. According to her, dual pricing of medicines would be such a measure that could be applied in this country. This model has been used in Spain since 1990, under which two prices are negotiated with wholesalers - one for medicines covered by the health insurance funds and the other for the free market.

Source: Sofia