• Medical education and publications

    Tchaikapharma regularly participates in public education events organized by scientific societies for the dissemination of medical knowledge.

    Tchaikapharma sponsors the publication of numerous textbooks, educational materials and monographs in the field of cardiology, nephrology, urology, surgery, endocrinology, psychiatry, and internal medicine of the medical universities in Sofia, Plovdiv, Pleven, Varna and Stara Zagora. For many years, we have sponsored the annual congresses and symposia of scientific societies in Bulgaria. We have been issuing specialized patient information materials devoted to prevention and the fight against the most widespread chronic diseases in the country.

  • Regional Symposia

    In 2007, before our educational publications started, continuing medical education in Bulgaria consisted of under-financed programs organized by medical universities and promotional industry-sponsored events. No institution or industry representative offered any well-structured nation-wide solutions.

    Our approach was different. First, we asked physicians what education would best help their work. A vast majority of the hundreds of physicians we work with said that they were overwhelmed by biased marketing information, but they lack information with substance and applicability.

    The resounding response we got was the dire need for scientific guidelines translated into Bulgarian and adapted into the form of applicable practical advice, rules and algorithms.


    As part of our scientifically oriented marketing strategy, we stopped delivering lectures about medicines – any medicines, including ours, and turned all our activities towards the needs of our partners and clients. The Bulgarian hospitals, physicians, medical centers, and patients responded with their appreciation and loyalty.

    To bridge the gap we created a separate in-house financial and organizational structure for continuing medical education. The project was widely supported by the company’s advisory boards and targeted various medical specialists – cardiologists, endocrinologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, pulmonologists and general practitioners. The scientific program and agenda were set so as to cover a maximum number of regions and specialties and to achieve synergy.

    Symposia

    2007
    Jan. 15, 2007 – May 30, 2007

    36 events
    212 lectures
    7244 delegates from more than 150 cities

    The lectures covered topics from hypertension to heart failure, risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, asthma and COPD, diabetes management and control, bipolar disorder management and depression management.

    2008
    Sept. 19, 2008 – Dec. 12, 2008

    17 events
    68 lectures
    4272 delegates from more than 150 cities

    It was the first time in the CME process when international speakers participated in regional symposia. By now it has become a tradition.

    The lectures that stirred the liveliest debate were those on healthcare reform, reimbursement and health insurance policy. Renowned specialists from the Czech Republic, France, Germany and Italy presented new algorithms for treatment of acute coronary syndrome – the advantages, pre-hospital management, organization and most importantly, timing.

    As a result of these meetings new ways of primary and secondary transfer of ACS patients were adopted in each region in Bulgaria.

    2009
    Sept. 11, 2009 – Dec. 18, 2009

    21 events
    112 lectures
    5216 delegates from more than 150 cities

    Lecturers from Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic and France took part in the scientific program. They discussed the results achieved by the Bulgarian Cardiac Institute and Tchaikapharma in the one year since the previous symposium as well as new strategies for improvement. In some regions they accounted for a 30% drop in the in-hospital ACS mortality.

    The strategies discussed included direct transfer of ACS patients to centers performing 24/7 life-saving procedures. There were discussions concerning the current conservative treatment and ways to enhance guideline compliance and reduce costs. International experts presented charts comparing the data in their countries to the data in Bulgaria. They also made suggestions on how to reduce this gap, among which was the suggestion train Bulgarian physicians.

  • Conferences and Congresses

    Twice a year (spring and fall) Tchaikapharma High Quality Medicines, the Bulgarian Cardiac Institute, and Health Insurance Fund DallBogg: Life and Health, host a series of widely attended and increasingly influential conferences and congresses. More than 200 physicians take part in each. Over 270 lectures have been delivered in the past 4 years, attended by more than 40,000 delegates.


    Spring Cardiac Days, 2006
    March 2006

    From Acute Coronary Syndrome to Heart Failure
    The first international symposium organized by Tchaikapharma High Quality Medicines gathered more than 1,200 cardiologists, GPs and emergency physicians in the National Opera in Sofia. The turnout was so large that, despite the extremely large venue, we had to turn away some physicians as the opera had reached its full capacity.

    The symposium was dedicated to the discussion of life-saving measures for patients suffering from acute coronary syndrome. Notably, the symposium was the first international scientific event, which did not further the interests of an institution or an industry. All reports and lectures were purely medical, without undue corporate influence from any company. Not a single trade name was mentioned in any of the lectures – a fact which the physicians were quick to notice and appreciate.

    The demand for scientific data and evidence-based medicine increased significantly after the symposium. It was also one of the first events where interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons were able to mingle and freely discuss other medical problems and patient-centered solutions.

    Provided with simultaneous interpretation in Bulgarian, the delegates listened to the lectures of leading experts from Italy, the Czech Republic and Austria. The echo from this first-of-a-kind event was so strong that the EU newspaper “New Europe” dedicated a full page to it: “Scientific Cardiology Forum Proves a Big Success in Sofia”.

    Cardiac Days, fall 2006
    Sept. 29, 2006

    The pan-European echo from the Spring Cardiac Days in March was impressive. Tchaikapharma’s headquarters received many e-mails, letters, requests and congratulations from doctors from throughout the country. With the demand for a new symposium escalating and numerous topics requiring discussion and public awareness, we organized a second international symposium later in 2006.

    One of out guest lecturers was Professor Petr Widimsky, who had just been appointed Vice President of ESC at the annual ESC congress in Barcelona. This was the first time that an elected Vice President of ESC delivered a lecture at a Bulgarian scientific event. Among the other lecturers were Professor Mladen Grigorov, Assoc Professor Plamen Milkov and Dr Plamen Panayotov, head of the cardiac surgery department at University Hospital St Marina, Varna.

    Spring Cardiac Days 2007
    March 31, 2007

    From Hypertension and Diabetes to Heart Failure
    More than 1,100 specialists in cardiology, endocrinology, GPs and emergency physicians attended our congress hosted in the National Theatre in Sofia on March 31st, 2007. Inspiring lectures were delivered by experts from Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic, USA, as well as leading centers in Germany, Italy, Austria and Czech Republic.

    The congress took place just after the American College of Cardiology (ACC) annual meeting and many of the lecturers came directly from Orlando to Sofia to bring the latest news in global research, even before their publication online.

    The one-day congress provided food for thought for many of the attendees, as they commented during breaks.

    Spring Cardiac Days 2008
    Apr. 19, 2008

    Coronary Artery Disease
    Jointly organized by Tchaikapharma High Quality Medicines and the Bulgarian Cardiac Institute, this edition of Spring Cardiac Days gathered over 1,000 physicians from every part of Bulgaria. The congress was officially inaugurated by the Mayor of Sofia General Boyko Borisov. “Cardiovascular diseases are the medical challenge of the century,” he said in his speech. “Statistics tell us that in the 21st century, 200 men and women die every day in our country because of cardiovascular disorders. Their treatment is extremely important for the development of the whole nation.”

    We received special recognition from Professor Eugene Braunwald (Harvard Medical School), Professor Delos Cosgrove (President of Cleveland Clinic) and Professor Petr Widimsky (Vice President of the ESC). Read more

    The event included a round table held on April 18th, which was attended by the heads of cardiology departments across the country and all the heads of University cardiac clinics. Besides medical challenges for the treatment of acute coronary syndrome (ACS), participants also addressed numerous organizational aspects, taking into consideration proposed solutions from the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Italy and the UK.

    The participating lecturers shared their experience in building a network of hospitals for ACS treatment and improvement of primary and secondary patient transfer. This topic had not come under so wide a scrutiny before with the participation of cardiologists from cities other from Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna.

    On April 19th leading experts from Unispital Zurich, Ospedale Niguarda, Milan, Charles University, Prague, and many more delivered lectures on the hottest topics in the field. Many of them provided answers to questions raised by delegates on the round table of April 17th.

    National Annual Congress in Cardiology 2008
    Nov. 21, 2008

    Acute Coronary Syndrome
    As a part of the program of the National Congress of the Bulgarian Society of Cardiology, Tchaikapharma High Quality Medicines organized a satellite symposium with more than 400 delegates, which made it by far the most attended event of its kind. The latest developments in the treatment of Acute Coronary Syndrome were presented by Professor Mladen Grigorov, Professor Roberto Ferrari (former President of the ESC) and Professor Petr Widimsky (former Vice President of the ESC).

    The symposium also raised a lot of questions around the organization and hurdles to establishing a network of PCI centers in Bulgaria. The Czech experience was brought forward and it was assessed that it is definitely possible to implement the same strategy in Bulgaria and observe cardiovascular mortality decrease in the near future.

    The symposium was also attended by a delegation of executives of three Swiss banks and potential investors.

    Spring Cardiac Days 2009
    May 23, 2009

    Acute Heart Failure
    As of May 23rd, 2009, the Bulgarian Cardiac Institute, jointly with Tchaikapharma, had been managing four cardiac hospitals with PCI centers for more than 2 years, covering approximately 60% of the territory of Bulgaria. We had identified the problems in each region – both organizational and medical.

    On this basis we combined efforts to design a special scientific program to address the hottest issues, including techniques and management strategies, applicable in the near future. The sessions were focused, more practical than the traditional ones, offering many prompts for further debate. Three professors, authors of ESC guidelines, and many more from the guidelines editorial board were the leading lecturers.

    This time the venue was the Medical Knowledge Center in the second Tchaikapharma plant in Plovdiv. 400 delegates attended, each making a significant personal contribution to the topics at hand. Both lecturers and delegates had technological and multimedia devices at their disposal at all times, allowing for a busy and interactive discussion.

    In this process they devised specific guidelines for each region, leading to improvements in ACS and increased reperfusion. The time from chest pain to balloon decreased significantly in the months after the event, and the organization designed was soon borrowed in the other regions.

    The congress was endorsed by the European Society of Cardiology and Cleveland Clinic. Key lectures were delivered by Professor Frans van de Werf, author of the ESC Guidelines for STEMI, and Professor Jean-Pierre Bassand, author of ESC Guidelines for NSTEMI. Professor Tomislav Mihaljevic from Cleveland Clinic demonstrated the advantages of robotic surgery and gave his word that he would train promising Bulgarian cardiac surgeons.

    National Congress in Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery 2010
    Apr. 16-17, 2010

    Acute Cardiac Care
    More than 400 cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and researchers from around Europe flocked to the city of Pleven, Bulgaria last Friday, April 16. Held for the fifth consecutive year, the National Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery Congress explored topics in the latest research and clinical practice in the field of acute cardiac care.

    This year the scientific program was organized in sessions spread across two days. Prominent experts from all over the world delivered lectures translating science into practical messages for the delegates – cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, intensivists, GPs, emergency physicians. Some of the key notes were instructive, others interactive. Much of the debate was instigated by the speakers, especially discussions between cardiologists and cardiac surgeons.

    The hot-issue topics included major advances in interventional and surgical treatment in acute patients as well as hybrid solutions; managing complications and the role of preliminary risk stratification based on research evidence and registries also stirred lively discussion. The main issues and messages outlined in the congress will be expanded and published as standard operating procedures (SOPs) in the Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery scientific journal later in 2010, sponsored by Tchaikapharma High Quality Medicines.

    We work with said that they were overwhelmed by biased marketing information, but they lack information with substance and applicability.