Bulgaria’s consumer health industry recorded further positive growth during 2019 and this can be attributed mainly to low unemployment and rising incomes, especially in major urban areas. However, the country’s declining population and low and declining birth rate continue to place limits on sales growth potential.
Although income levels are rising in Sofia and many of Bulgaria’s other cities, spending on consumer health remains constrained by the limited budgets of many households. This, combined with rising health awareness and improving access to healthcare in major cities, has created the ideal preconditions for low-cost options to perform very well in consumer health.
Consumer health in Bulgaria remains a highly consolidated industry and this is largely due to the tight regulation on the production, marketing and distribution of Rx and OTC remedies. These include tight restrictions on retail channels for OTC products and strict price controls on the vast majority of OTC medicines, resulting in minimal margins for wholesalers and producers.
There were approximately 60 online retailers of OTC consumer health products registered in Bulgaria at the end of the review period, according to the Registry of the Bulgarian Drug Agency. This was a result of a flurry of new license applications over the second half of the review period, with numerous new licenses issued to companies intending sell OTC products online.
The various trends influencing sales of consumer health products in Bulgaria are set to continue counterbalancing each other over the forecast period, resulting in slow but steady growth in volume and value sales across most categories. Although Bulgaria’s population is falling, income levels are rising, especially in Sofia and other large cities.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Health market research database.