Bulgarians Spend BGN 2.2 B a year on Pharmaceuticals

Society » HEALTH | September 22, 2013, Sunday // 18:22| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Bulgarians Spend BGN 2.2 B a year on Pharmaceuticals Photo by BGNES

Bulgarians spend some BGN 2.2 B a year on pharmaceuticals.

Pharmaceutical consumption in Bulgaria is among the lowest in Europe, despite the fact that prices are also among the lowest, according to reports of Monitor daily.

Greece's consumption of pharmaceuticals, for instance, is 10 times higher compared to Bulgaria.

The low pharmaceutical consumption rate is attributed to the partial reimbursement by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).

Besides, VAT on pharmaceuticals in Bulgaria is the highest in Europe, at 17%.

At the same time, public per capita expenditure is EUR 53.

Bulgarians also take dietary supplements, which have a bigger market than pharmaceuticals.

According to Prof. Genka Petrova from the Pharmaceutical Faculty of the Medical University in Sofia, people go for dietary supplements because they are cheaper.

She says that instead of visiting their GP, where they will have to stand in queues and pay a fee of BGN 2.90, people pick a medicine of their choice, usually one which is 25% reimbursed by the National Health Insurance Fund.

Professor Petrova warns that the practice involves significant risks and increases the total cost of treatment substantially.

She also underscores the lack of control over the food supplements market in Bulgaria, adding that there are no requirements for proving the quality and safety of these products.

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