Bulgaria Pharmaceutical Market One of the Most Promising in CEE

Business | May 21, 2008, Wednesday // 00:00

The Bulgarian pharmaceutical market has emerged as one of the most promising in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), as reported by Business Wire, a US online media, one of the global leaders in commercial news distribution.

Business Wire cites a report published on the Research and Market's website, announcing the addition of "Bulgaria Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Report Q2 2008" to their offering.

The revised rankings of the report position Bulgaria in the joint second place, alongside the Czech Republic, out of the 16 regional markets surveyed in CEE. For the previous period Bulgaria was ranked third along with Hungary.

The ranking is partially attributed to the European Union (EU) membership gained at the start of 2007, which has facilitated the access for foreign products.

However, the report points out that chronic lack of funding in the healthcare sector will continue to obstruct the government's attempt to modernize and improve services. In the meantime, the pharmacy association in Bulgaria is contemplating litigation against the government over new legislation tightening pharmacy ownership.

Due to the above-mentioned negative influences, the report predicts that generic drugs, presently accounting for over a quarter of the market by value, will continue to gain shares, which would be further supported by the strong local generics industry. Likewise, the report forecasts that, although relatively modest at present, the development of the over-the-counter market will become quite significant in the near future, due to increasing health awareness among consumers, integration of the sector, and strong advertising.

According to the Research and Market's report, the Bulgarian medical devices market is one of the least developed in Eastern Europe, but due to healthcare system improvement there is a solid base for market development.

Foreign firms will continue to enjoy the benefits of Bulgaria's EU membership and the favorable business climate. Imports - mainly from Germany and the US - will remain the majority of the market, with prominent foreign companies becoming more and more directly involved in the pharmaceutical market by the acquisition of domestic ones.

Consequently, some of the larger local companies are now in a position to offer strong export portfolios and have implemented good manufacturing practice.

Companies mentioned in the report include: Actavis Bulgaria (formerly Balkanpharma), Biovet, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, Sopharma

Research and Markets is a Dublin based company, considered a major source for international market research and market data.

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