Covid-19: Bulgaria’s government to buy 2.1 million leva Remdesivir

Bulgaria’s Cabinet agreed on October 14 to approve additional spending by the Ministry of Health to buy 2.1 million leva (about 1.07 million euro) worth of the medicine Remdesivir, Health Minister Kostadin Angelov told a news conference.

The sum is enough to buy 2500 vials of Remdesivir.

The European Commission said on July 3 that it had granted a conditional marketing authorisation for Remdesivir, which made it the first medicine authorised at EU level for treatment against Covid-19. On October 8, the Commission said that it had signed a joint procurement framework contract with pharmaceutical company Gilead for the supply of up to 500 000 treatment courses of Veklury, the brand name for Remdesivir.

Angelov said that the cost of one vial of the medicine is 345 euro without value-added tax (VAT).

To date, Bulgaria had received 2837 vials of Remdesivir in the form of donations, which had been distributed to all regional health inspectorates in the country. So far, 978 vials had been used, including 476 last week.

Currently, all patients who needed Remdesivir included in their treatment did so. “We do not have needs that cannot be met at the national level,” Angelov said.

He said that the medicine had been shown to be effective in treating patients around the world, including US President Trump.

“This drug is used to treat other viral infections. Clinical studies in the world have proven its effectiveness,” Angelov said.

Bulgaria has made a request for the purchase, and delivery is expected within 10 to 20 days.

Angelov said that the principle of distribution in Bulgaria was that each regional health inspectorate submits to the Health Ministry the needs it has in the district. In the event of a shortage in any area, the medicine was provided by a neighbouring district.

He said that he was monitoring with concern the increase in the number of patients with coronavirus.

In many places, the anti-epidemic measures were not being observed, he said.

There was no point in introducing new measures if people were not complying with the existing ones, Angelov said. He repeated his denial that cities would be closed or checkpoints set up.

“Let us focus on current measures and compliance with them. Always I have said that this infection will be defeated, but it will be done with reason and intellect,” he said.

“We must get used to living with this virus and follow the measures as prescribed,” Angelov said.

(Photo: Brian Hoskins/

The Sofia Globe’s coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria is supported by the Embassy of Switzerland.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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