Pharmaceutical Sector Total Economic Contribution to the Bulgarian Economy is at BGN 2.8B (2021)

The overall contribution of the pharmaceutical industry to the Bulgarian economy in 2021 reaches BGN 2.8 billion, equaling to 2.2% of the GDP of the country which is in line with the average for Europe. This the main result of the recent study “Economic and Strategic Benefits of the Pharmaceutical Sector in Bulgaria”, prepared by IQVIA Bulgaria The report was presented by Luka Chichov, General Manager of IQVIA for CEE at a dedicated event organized by the Association of the Research Pharmaceutical Manufacturers in Bulgaria (ArPhaRM), the Bulgarian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (BG PharmA), and the Bulgarian Association of the Medicine Whole-sale Traders (BATEL). It had the support of CEIBG, and was implemented in partnership with AmCham Bulgaria.

This expert-based discussion gathered in one place over 50 representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, members of the Parliament, leadership of branch associations, bilateral chambers representatives, etc.

The report outlines the significant contribution of the pharmaceutical sector for the Bulgarian Healthcare and to the national economy, the contribution of the pharma companies, the wholesale, and the retail, as well as clinical trial companies.

For 2021 the total economic contribution is calculated on the basis of the value of the remunerations in the sector (almost BGN 1.1 bn), the provided discounts to the NHIF and taxes (BGN 914 mln), the total value of the Bulgarian companies production (BGN 426 mln), investments in clinical trials (BGN 178 mln), the value of the saved spending through the generic medicine introduction (BGN 113 mln), as well as the added value in form of the realized training campaign for patients, medical doctors, and other field experts (BGN 38 mln)

In 2022 the direct contribution of the pharma sector to the State Budget is calculating at over BGN 1 billion. Considering that manufacturer prices which are among the smallest in Europe, the pharma sector has provided to the NHIF a total of BGN 409 mln in additional discount and compensations. It equals at 27.6% of the NHIF budget for medicine.

In 2021 the pharmaceutical sector has paid over a billion leva for remuneration, out of which BGN 384 mln are being transfered to the State Budget in the form of taxes and social security. Almost 28,000 people are directly employed in the pharma sector in Bulgaria, thus creating induction effects to other almost 16,000 people where the salaries are 1.8 times higher than the country’s average.

The pharma manufacturign in Bulgaria is key for the maintaining of sustainable medicine supply. The generated production by the Bulgarian manufacturers in 2021 is almost BGN 426 mln or 1.2% of the total manufacturing in Bulgaria (over 10 billion pills and capsules and over 164 mln liquid medicine). In parallel, significant contribution have the wholesale traders which provide financial loans to their pharmacies and hospitals of a total volume of over half a billion leva which a temporary of the currency of almost BGN 7 mln.

Key feature of the report is the contribution of the generic and biosimilar medicine products that have saved over BGN 207 mln to the patients and the state in 2022. This step alone provides additional resource for non-alternative therapies penetration for the sake of unmet patients’ needs.

Over the past yers Bulgaria has turned into a regional center for clinical trials and now is on 4th place in Europe (trials per capita). This result is thanks to good regulation environment, infrastructure, patients gathering, and spending efficiency. This market is evaluated at app. BGN 178 mln in 2021. However, there is lack of digitalization of the system which jeopardizes this market and brings additional challenges to develop its potential.

Last but not least, the pharma sector contribution is important in providing additional services and care to the healthcare system’s clients. In 2021 this sector has invested 38 mln for professional and educational and raising awareness campaigns, that includes experts, patients, medical doctors. Antoher BGN 3 mln for programs for support via access to a highly specialized diagnosis of oncological deceases.


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