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Pharmaceutical companies. The Italian ones are the most penalized in Europe

06 NOV – In the last ten years, the pharmaceutical industry scenario has undergone profound transformations that have had a significant impact above all on the size and structure of the sector. According to the new 2012 Report by Meridiano Sanità, there are three, in particular, the macro-trends recorded at a global level for the sector:
• a slowdown in the growth of the sector especially in advanced economies;
• a new geography of the sector, both from the point of view of the market and of the production industry, in which there is an increasingly significant weight assumed by emerging countries;
• a lower productivity of scientific and technological developments which require much higher and more complex R&D investments.

If in 2005 the European Union covered almost a third of the market, by 2015 it is expected that the same segment will make up less than a fifth. While the emerging countries, the so-called BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and the rest of the world will assume an increasingly important role within the world pharmaceutical market, going from 19% in 2005 to 38% in 2015.

"The shift in the world pharmaceutical market from Europe and the USA towards the BRIC countries and the rest of the world - the Report continues - is accompanied by a general slowdown in the sector: in the five-year period 2010-2015 the world market will grow at an average annual rate of 4.8% compared to a 7.1% recorded in the previous five years. Above all, the advanced economies recorded the greatest slowdown, going from the average annual change of 5.3% recorded in the five-year period 2005-2010 to 1.1% in 2010-2015”. On the other hand, the average annual change recorded in emerging countries is more than double the average (13.0% against 14.1% recorded in the previous five-year period).

One of the trends in close connection with market dynamics is the increased complexity of R&D and the increase in costs. This trend has led the pharmaceutical industry to invest progressively greater shares in R&D.
"It is no coincidence in fact - explains the Report - that the data released this year by the European Commission show that the European pharmaceutical sector is the first (among other European industrial sectors) for the ratio between investments in R&D and net sales: if the whole European industry invests a total of 3.3% of net sales, the pharmaceutical industry invests over 15%. The value expressed in absolute terms, approximately 27.8 billion euros, is equivalent to 3.5% of the added value of the entire European manufacturing sector and 19.1% of worldwide BERD expenditure”.

The main cause of the rising costs, Meridiano Sanità explains, “is due to the fact that research is increasingly moving towards personalized, more effective, but also more expensive therapies. Furthermore, only 1 molecule out of 10,000 manages to pass all the tests necessary to finally be placed on the market".
In the meantime, the growing costs associated with research are accompanied by a compression of sales revenues (and therefore a contraction of margins), mainly due to drug patent expirations.

If in 2001 the costs required to make available a

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