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Tuscany. Divided industrial generics

MENARINI declares war on generic medicines. The other industrialists hold back the alarm. «THE rule that requires the doctor to indicate the active ingredient and not the commercial name of the drugs on the prescription is a stab in the back of Italian workers. Our companies lose 10% of revenues in just two weeks of August after the rule goes into effect. We will be forced to carry out extraordinary maneuvers that will involve hundreds of employees». Before the inauguration of the Menarini kindergarten [in the photo, the inauguration], then in an interview, for a few days Lucia Aleotti, vice president of the Florentine pharmaceutical group, has been firing bullets against the "pro generics standard", bypassing the outputs of Farmindustria of which she is vice president for harshness of tone and objective. Aleotti has repercussions on employment, a sensitive topic in Tuscany, where the pharmaceutical industry employs 7,000 direct workers and 4,000 in related industries, producing 5.2 billion in turnover. But the other industries present in the region curb Aleotti's alarm over the consequences of a law made to alleviate household spending, as Menarini's vice president herself indirectly admits: «The State does not gain anything from it because it pays branded medicines at the price generics and the difference (0.90 euros on average) is paid by the consumer». Menarini, which between 2011 and 2012 lost 37% of its turnover in Italy, offsetting it with revenues abroad, faces competition from generics because many of its branded drugs are no longer covered by patents. Defending these products has already cost its patrons headaches: Alberto and Lucia Aleotti are under investigation for corruption with PDL senator Cesare Cursi who - according to the Florence prosecutor's office - in his function as a parliamentarian would have taken action to obtain the approval of a law that protected branded medicines to the detriment of generics. And it is precisely this harsh defense by the Aleottis that seems to mark the difference with the other Tuscan industrialists, also in relation to the less dramatic forecasts that the latter make on the collapse of domestic turnover and on the employment repercussions of the "pro generic rule". "It doesn't apply to us," says Giuseppe Seghi Recli, CEO of Molteni pharmaceuticals, headquarters and central plant in Scandicci, for cutting-edge products in pain therapy. «First of all because we are active in very specialized therapeutic areas with products destined for hospitals for the 55%. And then because innovation doesn't stop at Molteni and allows us to send unique products to the market which, for this reason, are not subject to competition from generics». The theme of the obligation to prescribe active ingredients as an alleged boulder on the pharmaceutical industry does not even warm up Novartis, the vaccine giant with a plant in Siena, whose press office swerves on other issues: "The problems of the pharmaceutical industry arouse more reflection which goes beyond the issue of the obligation to prescribe generics". Explains what at least some of these problems are by Concetto Vasta, director of institutional affairs at Eli Lilly Italia, the giant that recently took over and invested heavily in the Sesto Fiorentino plant to focus on insulin. "The obligation to prescribe generics does not harm us because we have innovative drugs" Vasta clears the field in the meantime. «Avv

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