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Tuscany goodbye, with a lot of nostalgia

Mass flight from the Tuscan district of pharmaceutical multinationals who all move to the North. Boehringer Ingelheim moves from Reggello, in the province of Florence, to Milan; Bayer of Rosia, 20 kilometers from Siena, will concentrate all activities at the Garbagnate site in Milan by 2009; the multinational Baxter, specialized in the production of human albumin, will close the Pisa office by the end of the year to transfer staff and structure to Rome and warehouses with related employees to Padua. Tuscany is in third place, after Lombardy and Lazio, for the presence of pharmaceutical companies. With 75 companies and 7,200 employees, 650 of whom are employed in research and development, it represents 22% of the national total with an annual investment of 180 million in research and development. A key sector that represents 7% of the GDP of the Tuscany Region. Boehringer, whose business plan provides for the transfer of 140 of the 173 employees, let it be known that it wants to concentrate all activities in Milan for logistical reasons, given that a research center already exists in the Lombard capital. The total revenues of the group in 2006 were 436 million, while only the Istituto de Angelis, wholly controlled by Boehringer which produces medicines for third parties, had a turnover of 67 million, employing 220 people. The fear is that within a few years the Institute could close, because it is no longer able to withstand the competition. The Baxter plant, active since 1989, has an average gross annual production of about 7 tons of human albumin. The Pisa and Milan offices, where 68 and 61 people work respectively, will be transferred to Rome in a location that will house all administrative and management functions. «The Capital, in addition to being the historical registered office of the company, is also the place where the institutions and partners are located and it is central for travel», they explain in the company. «It is a restructuring that is involving Belgium and Germany as well as Italy. The unification of the offices will make it possible to increase synergies between the various sectors, speed up decision-making capacity and favor the growth and exchange of know-how between resources». The company has also started negotiations with the unions to relocate those who cannot or do not want to relocate, activating assistance services. Present in Italy since 1969, Baxter, with revenues of 400 million dollars, has over a thousand employees. It is active in more than 100 countries, employs 50,000 people and has 250 plants in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia. As for Rosia's Bayer, whose revenue in 2006 was 475 million euros and the target for 2007 is 500 million, it is thought that the merger with the American multinational Schering is behind the transfer. Bayer had in mind to build a large center for blood products in Siena and had staked everything on biotechnology. But today the Rosia site only deals with packaging products that are made elsewhere. In all, about a hundred employees will move from the plant. In an attempt to tackle the pharmaceutical crisis, the Tuscany Region will invest up to 150 million of structural funds in drug research and development, launching program agreements to promote clinical research and aiming to create a regional district of life sciences and pharmaceutical excellence in order to attract international investments and to retain companies. Barbara Millucci The World of 15/02/2008 NUM 8_22 FEBRUARY 2008 p. 67  



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Fedaiisf Federazione delle Associazioni Italiane degli Informatori Scientifici del Farmaco e del Parafarmaco