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Farmindustria bipartisan gift: designer drug triumphs in prescription

ROME – A bipartisan gift to Farmindustria. This is similar to the amendment presented by UDC, Lega, Pdl and Pd which transforms the obligation to prescribe the generic into "faculty". An obligation that had been introduced with the spending review and which would have brought savings to the national health system but, above all, to citizens.

The rule that obliged doctors to prescribe the active ingredient in prescriptions instead of the drug, thus opening the door to an ever-wider consumption of generic drugs, cheaper for the state and cheaper for citizens but equally effective than "branded" ones, had been introduced with last summer's spending review.

An obligation that should have meant, in a nutshell, 900 million euros in savings a year. Millions that, for the most part, would have ended up, indeed remained, in the pockets of Italians who would thus have had the possibility of buying drugs at a lower cost. An obligation that had not, understandably, made the joy of the pharmaceutical industry, which produces branded products, and less understandably not even the doctors who had protested. An obligation, to tell the truth, which was less than expected even by consumers who, in words, said they were enthusiastic but who, in fact, bought less generics than estimated. An obligation very dear to Minister Renato Balduzzi, who had already fought for him in the summer. It is an obligation that, with a night blitz in the parliamentary committee, was shot down.

 The amendment sent the minister into a rage. The law on generics "is balanced and there are no reasons not to continue along the path of valorising the equivalent drug which saves citizens and the NHS", said Balduzzi. But the amendment, in committee, as well as bipartisan support also enjoyed the endorsement of the undersecretary for economic development, Claudio De Vincenti. “That of the undersecretary is not the position of the government. And in any case it's not mine” Balduzzi hastened to say. But his, whatever the official position of the government, seems to be a battle destined to see him defeated. A battle against a too strong opponent who enjoys the support of the majority of political forces. As underlined by the president Cesare Cursi "in the commission there seems to be a lot of determination to defend the pharmaceutical industry which invests and creates jobs". And then “the minister is the minister but there is Parliament”, and against Parliament the minister is defeated.

 Balduzzi was also defeated on another law supported by him and recently cancelled. That rule that allowed the prescription of "off-label" medicines, i.e. authorized

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