Historical Archive

The Italian drug in health abroad

Frank Sarcina


Data in contrast yes, but with some distinctions and clarifications that must be made in order not to make mistakes or easy optimism. The national drug industry, if on the one hand it grew in February 2012 compared to the same period of the previous year by 5.8% (6.5% the raw figure, not corrected due to the calendar effect), against a decline overall industrial turnover of 1.5% (raw data -14%), however greatly affected by the differences between the trend on the domestic market and exports.

In fact, the overall figure is the synthesis of two very different trends: if on the one hand the export turnover has risen "by double digits" year on year (+22.9%), on the other hand that achieved within the of our country stopped at a very modest +0.3%. The numbers, if we extend the data to January-February 2012, are even more explicit: the overall turnover grew by 4.5%, but with a +17.7% obtained abroad and an even negative figure for the market internal: -0.3%.

Furthermore, the trend of the domestic market was influenced by an average drop in prices of 3.9% in February compared to 12 months earlier for all medicines, a reduction which instead reached 15.3% in March (Farmindustria data) . The difference is clear even when one goes to consider the orders, again relating to the month of February 2012 compared to a year ago: here, against an overall figure for the industry which sees a conspicuous double-digit drop (-13, 2%), the pharmaceutical sector fared decidedly better, settling overall at +6.6%. But the difference between the orders acquired on the national market and those outside Italy, also in this case, is very striking: respectively +0.3% and +21.9 per cent. How can these numbers be explained?

According to Massimo Scaccabarozzi, president of Farmindustria, «these are positive figures, but the growth is exclusively due to exports. In our sector, when the state reduces health care spending, we immediately suffer. For example, last year's maneuver in July led to a recovery of hospital expenses on our part». Scaccabarozzi mentions here that pharmaceutical sales must remain at a ratio established a priori with respect to the entire health expenditure. For hospital pharmaceuticals, this limit is set at 2.4%.  «If the signals on the inter market

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