Sopharma puts portfolio expansion in the limelight
Sopharma, established 80 years ago, is the oldest Bulgarian pharmaceutical company. Its products are sold in over 32 countries. The company focuses on generic medicines and also offers original plant-based therapies.
In June, Sopharma opened a new solid forms facility, an investment of about 75 million levs. What are your short-term investment plans?
With the completion of the new factory we are finished renovating the production facilities of Sopharma and we have now completely changed the face of the company. In the future our efforts and resources will be focused on the expansion of our product portfolio.
Will the focus be on generic medicines or on original drugs?
Some 75% of the company’s portfolio is comprised of generics and the remainder is original products, mainly products with plant origin. Efforts will be focused predominantly on generic therapies. As you know, Sopharma’s original portfolio consists of phyto products which were developed before the privatisation of the company.
A number of countries across the globe have stepped up reimbursement of generics. Do you think that Bulgaria is following their example?
Generics can improve the efficiency of the National Health Insurance Fund's reimbursement policy, but this resource has not been tapped so far. Original products remain dominant, including some whose patent protection has expired. I believe that this issue will be on the agenda of both the Ministry of Health and the National Health Insurance Fund, as it will give them the opportunity to better address the needs of citizens with otherwise insufficient financial resources.
Some recession-hit countries made great efforts to quickly introduce generics to cut healthcare costs.
Bulgaria has done little about the problem. The Ministry of Health should use the generics industry as one of its main tools in its cost-trimming mission. Sopharma was even accused of selling the most expensive medicines, which is a paradox. Indeed, we are proud of the fact that the company operates on the free market. Sopharma received only 1.82% of public funds spent on medicines in
Sopharma has some of the most competitive prices in the country and we do not see a reason to worry.
2011. The company generates the remainder of its sales on the free market, so we are definitely not relying on the government. Foreign experts refer to the Bulgarian healthcare system as a "boutique" one – it reimburses mainly therapies for rare conditions, which require very expensive drugs. Sopharma, though, is not present in this segment. We are focused on the "everyday" needs of peo-