Bulgaria's Health Insurance Fund Convicted of Abuse of Dominant Position

Domestic | March 29, 2012, Thursday // 17:45|  views

Bulgaria's National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) has been found guilty of abuse of dominant position in connection with the retail pricing policies of pharmacies. Photo by BGNES

The Supreme Administrative Court (VAS) has confirmed the abuse of dominant position by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), according to a Thursday statement of the Commission on Protection of Competition (KZK).

In July 2010, KZK found that the NHIF had breached competition regulations by imposing on pharmacies prices for the sale of medicines contained in the NHIF Reimbursement List.

NHIF will be fined with BGN 30 000 for the violation.

The competition watchdog instituted proceedings against the NHIF on a tip-off by the Bulgarian Pharmaceutical Union.

The inspection of the KZK revealed that for the period of February 1, 2008 through June 1, 2009, the NHIF unilaterally imposed a significantly lower ceiling of mark-ups of medicines partially reimbursed by the NHIF that pharmacies use to set prices.

The NHIF's move was in breach of the cap on retail pharmacy mark-ups set out in an ordinance.

In its ruling the VAS noted that the NHIF had abused its monopoly position to exert pressure on pharmacies in connection with their retail pricing policies.

The decision of the Sofia-based Supreme Administrative Court is final and cannot be appealed.

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Tags: National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), pharmacies, pharmaceuticals, reimburse, retail prices, abuse of dominant position, Commission on Protection of Competition, KZK, Supreme Administrative Court, VAS


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