• The expenditures on medicines rose three fold in less than three years

    January 13, 2015

    BGN 750 million cost home care per year, they save with limits for mediicnes as with  medical referals

    The expenditures on medicines provoded free or with a discount by the National Health Insurance Fund increased three times in less than three years. The amount for medicines for home treatment rose from BGN 250 million to BGN 750 million. This was announced by Dr. Dimitar Lenkov – Secretary General of the Bulgarian Medical Association. Paradoxically, at the same time the cost of medical services, ie payments to doctors and for research as well as for clinical pathways, increased less than 10 percent, added Dr. Lenkov.

    According to him the high costs are formed mainly by the original medicines that doctors prescribe.

    The Secretary General of the professional organization stressed that in Bulgaria, although the poorest country in the European Union, are prescribed mostly original and expensive medications. Unlike us in Germany, France and even in Greece and Romania public health insurance funds grant to patients free of charge or at a discount mainly generics to save money.

    According to Dr. Lenkov introduction of regulatory mechanisms similar to the limits for general practitioners’ referals for prescriptions of free and at reduced prices medications will save the NHIF money.

    One option is from a group of medicines for a certain disease the Fund to cover the cheapest. If the patient wants more expensive, he/she will pay the difference. The other is for each diagnosis a certain limit of price for the free medicines and for those with price reduction to be set. For example, the patients with hypertension to be given medication within BGN 30-40 month. If the hypertensive patient wants more expensive tablets, he has to cover the difference for them.

    Dr. Lenkov is convinced that the best way to control the public spendings for health is the introduction of an electronic dossier and electronic health card.

    The Bulgarian Medical Association insists on their introduction for years. It is not complicated, but it is not done. He explained that with the electronization in this field in Greece the expenses for medicines dropped significantly, without harming the patients, because the draining of funds for unnecessary pills was stopped.

    Dr. Lenkov predicts that this year again an update of the budget of the NHIF will be required. In this sector one can not predict how many people will get sick during the year. People  without health insurance benefiting from emergency care are also a problem, he added.