FOREIGN PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES FILL THE TREASURY
Due to drugs imported in Bulgaria in 2003, the Treasury has received BGN82.2MN as value-added tax (VAT). Revenues from domestically produced medicines are nearly twice smaller - BGN42.2MN.Foreign producers generate profit for the social funds, too. A research among members of the Association of Research Pharmaceutical Producers in Bulgaria shows that the number of people employed in the representative offices of innovation companies in the country has grown significantly in the past ten years. In 1994, 141 Bulgarians worked for them and in 2004 they were already 852. The growth of personnel is also leading to an increase in the revenues of the National Social Insurance Institute. Since the beginning of 2004 foreign companies in the branch have paid insurances amounting to BGN3.277MN and have deposited BGN2.055MN worth VAT. Five of these companies (which total 23) occupy the top places in the institute's ranking of the best insurers for the first half of 2004.Apart from being direct payers to the budget, the innovators practically act as creditors of the Bulgarian healthcare system, too. They deliver their products to the border. Then these products are taken by distributors and wholesale traders who supply the imported medicines to hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies in the country. However, hospitals and pharmacies often fail to pay their debts to the distributors in time and in turn, distributors cannot pay to the importers. In the end of 2003, there was an accumulated unpaid amount of BGN64MN for already imported drugs. At present, the amount goes beyond BGN90MN.On the other hand, free medicines provided in 2003 by patients treatment programs and donations at hospitals and the Ministry of Healthcare are worth BGN21MN. They have helped 120,000 Bulgarians to improve their health.According to information from the Association, 300 new drugs that have no analogues were registered in Bulgaria in the past decade. Just in 2003, 13 new medicines that can be bought without prescription and 50 others on prescription appeared in the pharmacies and hospitals.