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Briefs

Healthcare Ministry To Spend BGN11MN on Vaccines

Pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur achieved their goal and will deal directly with the Ministry of Health for the supply of hexavalent vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis type B, polio and Haemophilus influenzae type B. For various reasons, several public tenders for the vaccines, announced in recent months have failed. As a result, the immunization calendar was a chaos and thousands of parents of children under three years old panicked that there is nowhere to obtain the vaccines and products vital to the health of the kids. Albeit with some delay, the caretaker Health Minister Dr. Miroslav Nenkov took the only right decision and sat at the negotiating table with suppliers. According to him, the meeting had gone very openly and positively. And it can’t be otherwise since the ministry has in store over 11 million levs, with VAT, for those who manage to provide 90,000 doses of the vaccine for the Bulgarian market by the end of 2014.

For comparison, the open public procedure in July assessed 95 thousand doses (then reduced to 75 thousand.) to 4.57 million levs without VAT. The price difference is huge and is to the benefit of producers. But they have played their cards well, and the state has no right to be stingy. The whole story failed to make it clear who was responsible for the blunder with the vaccines and why Bulgaria does not have long-term contracts for the delivery. The manufacturers were themselves surprised by the orders from Bulgaria for this year, which is strange, given that neither the birth rate in the country has risen dramatically, nor the state has decided to resupply with vaccines. Again it appears that the state will pay dearly for one’s irresponsibility and the health of thousands of children will be placed in unnecessary risk to the last minute.

By November 3 the invited GlaxoSmithKline, Solomed (representative of the manufacturer Sanofi) and Alvogen Pharma Bulgaria (representative of Glaxo) must submit their bids for the supply of the hexavalent vaccines. The negotiation is scheduled for the next day. The match will be between the preparations Hexacima and Infanrix Hexa. The first batch of 40 thousand. doses needs to come in November, and the next one - until the end of December. It is expected that the parties may come to an agreement for an additional amount of pentavalent vaccine PENTAXIM, which can be used to complete the immunization of the older children. The fact is that the quadrivalent vaccines that Minister Nenkov offered as an alternative to the missing ones are not particularly popular among pediatricians and parents. This is probably so because they do not cover quite dangerous diseases, such as viral meningitis.

The BANKER

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