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The Bulgarian Medicines Verification System functioned successfully during the state of emergency while securing access to authentic medicinal products for Bulgarian patients

The verification process remains stable with the active contribution of our pharmacists, who are at the frontline for ensuring protection from falsified medicines

Over a million product packs per week had been scanned by the Bulgarian medicines verification system during the epidemiological state of emergency in April and May. This is the safest possible guarantee for medicines’ origin and authenticity for the patients, said Mrs. Iliana Paunova, executive director of Bulgarian medicines verification organization (BgMVO). 

During the complicated epidemic situation, fighting the coronavirus infection at the frontline are our medical specialists, physicians and pharmacists. The pharmacists provide Bulgarian patients with medicines of guaranteed origin through the verification system, which is the most secure protection against penetration of counterfeit products in pharmacies. This makes the system an integral part of quality pharmaceutical care for patients.

The Bulgarian medicines verification system already has data for 4,500 products with over 250 million packs. To date over a half of connected pharmacies and over a third of wholesalers are actively using the system. By the end of May we received 2,960 connection requests from pharmacies and wholesalers, and we expect even 800 more pharmacies to be connected to the system. Approximately a million transactions are registered weekly, which is about 30% of the prescription drugs turnover. With 100% connectivity and respective activity of pharmacies, transactions are expected to reach over 3.5 million per week, Mrs. Paunova said.

The European medicines verification system includes the National systems of all EU member states and was launched in February 2019. In Bulgaria, the system is operating for a second year with the active participation of master pharmacists, manufacturers, and wholesalers. The final vote on the amendments to the Law on Medicinal Products in Human Medicine is forthcoming. This will regulate the mandatory nature of the verification system and will determine the amount of sanctions for non-compliance with regulations.

The association “Bulgarian medicines verification organization” unites all main stakeholders in the pharmaceutical supply chain: the Association of the Research-based Pharmaceutical Manufacturers in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian  Generic Pharmaceutical Association, the Bulgarian Association of Medicines Parallel Trade Development, the Bulgarian Association of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and the Bulgarian Pharmaceutical Union.

As an expression of BgMVO's support for the efforts of health institutions in the epidemic situation, in April 2020 the organization donated 10,000 masks to the Bulgarian Pharmaceutical Union worth BGN 26,500. A donation worth BGN 106,500 was made to the Ministry of Health. Within this donation, the “Emergency Medical Center Sofia” received 5,000 masks, and the Sofia Regional Health Inspectorate – PCR tests and a system for automatic RNA sequencing. Also, the delivery of a high-class General Electric respirator is forthcoming.

BgMVO continues its active cooperation with the Ministry of Health, the Bulgarian Drug Agency, pharmacists and all other stakeholders in the medicines supply system. On the eve of Bulgarian pharmacists professional holiday we note the benefits and added value of the pharmaceutical profession, their significant contribution to the public healthcare and for ensuring access of Bulgarian patients to medicinal products of guaranteed origin.