The Promotion of Drug Innovation in Italy: Critical Aspects and Unsolved Problems
La Valorizzazione Dell'Innovazione Farmaceutica in Italia: Aspetti Critici e Problemi Aperti
Keywords:Biotechnologies, Drug innovation, Health needs, Pharmaceutical spending
AbstractThe pharmaceutical sector is characterized by the level of investments required in response to the growing challenges in terms of demand for health. In most European countries the pharmaceutical industry, through production, research, intermediate goods and wages, contributes to GDP for a value of about 1%. The impact of the pharmaceutical industry on the added value varies from 23 billion euro in Switzerland to 9.6 billion euro in Spain; for Italy, this value is about 14 billion euro, higher than the average of other European countries. However, despite these positive findings, Italy can hardly keep up with other European countries in investments in R&D in the pharmaceutical sector. An even larger amount of resources is required by the development of personalized therapies and new generation drugs, e.g. developed through biotechnology, which are more effective in responding to complex health needs. Clear rules, aimed at defining and fostering innovation, together with competitive pricing models, are required to attract investments in the pharmaceutical sector. There are other aspects to be considered for an overall assessment of the pharmaceutical sector: among these, there are drug prices, logistic costs, limitations to pharmaceutical spending, the latter introduced by the law no. 222/2007. The indiscriminate cuts in pharmaceutical spending are likely to destabilize the health system, since they pose a risk to the health of the population. Reforms over time should be designed to trigger the virtuous cycle innovation-development-patient protection.
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