Historical Archive

The cuts hit the pharmaceutical industry

The first signs of the crisis that will bite more and more will already arrive in the first months of the year with the announcement of at least another 2 thousand redundancies. But all forecasts continue to point to a storm on the Made in Italy pharmaceutical barometer: public spending down by another 3%, the total domestic market down, the value of production down by 1-1.5%, profitability which according to Prometeia will be 20-25% lower than two years ago. Even the export jolly, which has long been the flagship of the sector, while maintaining a positive sign, is destined to bend again. After a 2012 of crisis, 2013 promises to be a dangerous year for the Italian pharmaceutical industry as well.

«Let's leave a very negative 2012 due to the continuous pressure and efforts repeatedly asked of our sector by the provisions of the Government and the Regions. Hopefully 2013 will be at the same level as the year before. If it is OK. The risk is that it will go even worse»: Massimo Scaccabarozzi, president of Farmindustria, fails to profess optimism in reading the forecasts on the fundamentals of the sector. He scrolls through the data that has just been delivered to him and comments bitterly: «No, really, I don't see 2013 as the year for a relaunch. We would like it so much, for us, for the country that needs it. But if the next government does not do what is needed, it will be a disaster. Other than competitiveness and many fine words on the value of research and innovation. Now is the time for deeds and actions, not for words and promises». Yes, because even the pharmaceutical sector is paying close attention to the next Italian political steps. With the latest maneuvers he has suffered repeated jabs to the sound of billionaire cuts. He also had to digest (with some repechage of facade) the prescription for the active ingredient, one more battle lost against the cheap generics that are now breaking the bank at pharmacies all over the world. Blockbusters are no longer born, patents expire, and so branded drugs inevitably lose ground and market. The golden age is over, the conversion and rethinking of the sector is the real challenge all over the world. With the Bric countries, but also Israel for the generics, which by now lay down the law and rule the court: just think that in 2011 the world turnover in the advanced economies was 697 billion dollars and 258 billion in those of the Bric countries, with a growth that in 2016 will be 22 billion in the former and instead of 183 billion in the Bric.

And so the industry looks to its future in Italy. And at that famous table for the relaunch of industrial policy which has resumed work with the government of Mario Monti, under the impetus of the Undersecretary for Development, Claudio De Vincenti. «The premises of the work to be done and the path to follow have been laid», admits Scaccabarozzi. But he immediately adds: «We hope that there is the will to continue on this path. No government can take the responsibility of definitively upsetting the value and industrial presence in Italy of an industry vital to the national economy, as all industrialized countries do, and not just them».

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