Recycled Disinformation: The Alleged Pharmacist from Bulgaria “Arrived” in North Macedonia Three Years After
The fabricated post spreading false information about the pharmaceutical industry, portraying it as unethical, immoral, lucrative and greedy, but at the same time depreciating trust in state institutions, is at least three years old and was imported from neighboring Bulgaria. There this disinformation was disseminated online back in 2020, when the Bulgarian National Television was included unlawfully. Such recycled disinformation is very viral on social networks and it ise extremely dangerous and detrimental, especially because they have regional dimensions
Disinformation about the alleged “deputy chief pharmacist” offering suspicious drugs went viral on social networks in the last few days in North Macedonia. To make the news more credible, the name and brand of Kanal 5 TV were abused. Truthmeter already covered this fabrication related to a non-existent pharmacist and “her” forged Facebook post disseminated to the public in order to stir up revolt and repugnance to the pharmaceutical industry, but also distrust in the system in general. The director of Kanal 5, Ivan Mirchevski, confirmed that the information was false, stressing the fact that such a piece of news was never broadcast by the TV station.
Our additional fact-checks proved that this fabricated post spreading false claims about the pharmaceutical industry is at least three years old:
Can you imagine – they want the drug that we export abroad to be sold in Macedonia for only MKD 2400? The whole world is ready to buy it now for any sum required – they will even pay € 2000 for a pack. Nobody wants to die from a stroke or a heart attack. And they want to sell it for MKD 2400. And to whom? To the poor, who are useless. To low-skilled workers who will never create anything useful? And also to pensioners. For what? They had their life, let them die, we are not sorry for them. If high blood pressure or heart problems do not kill them, something else will. It makes no sense to spend money on old people. The state cannot afford to provide care to the pensioners so they can enjoy long lives.
I will do anything necessary to not allow these idiots to give away a limited-edition drug for free.
We must sell it and make a profit! Still, those who have money will buy it. € 2 thousand for a pack is nothing!
This is nothing for those who earn well and want to be healthy. The beggars can continue taking Enalapril and be happy that we are not selling it for € 2 thousand.
This disinformation, in fact, was imported from neighboring Bulgaria where it was spread on social networks back in 2020, when the Bulgarian National Television was included unlawfully. At the time, BNT reported that the news was a fraud and that it abused the logo of the television:
A false platform abuses the graphic design of the website “In the world and locally” – bntnews.bg and presents a forged interview of the “Panorama” host, Boyko Vasilev with the “chief of the Pharmaceutical Administration” and the “head of the Centre for Cardiovascular Surgery”.
We are warning the consumers that:
BNT is not involved in the advertising or distribution of any medical products.
The only authentic websites of the Bulgarian National Television are bnt.bg and bntnews.bg
A discussion is ongoing on Twitter about the fact that this is an old republished disinformation from the neighborhood saying:
Certain Slavitsa in ZhDM posted the first photo and a whole bunch of women are swallowing and cursing Ivona and the system. Of course, there is only the screenshot, with no context or link. With just a little research I found the same news in Bulgaria 3 years ago. The same explanation, the same text, under a different name.
извесна Славица во ЖДМ ја постира првата фотка и куп жени колнат и пцујат по Ивона и системот. Нормално, само скриншот, ни контекст ни линк. Со малку истражување ја најдов истата вест во Бугарија пред 3 години. Истото објаснување, истиот текст, само името друго. pic.twitter.com/MezNGQpZEq
— твитерана. (@tviterana) August 26, 2023
There is no doubt that such recycled disinformation aiming to create a perception that the pharmaceutical industry is unethical, immoral, greedy and lucrative, but also to diminish the trust in state institutions, is very dangerous. These viral constructions and photo-edited pieces of news on social networks are extremely detrimental, especially because they have regional dimensions.