MILAN, 20 Apr (APM) - Italy’s biggest challenge in the future is likely to be providing equal access to new treatments in an era of advanced therapies, according to the outgoing health minister, Quotidiano Sanità reported on Wednesday.
Beatrice Lorenzin was speaking during a debate organised by the Roche Foundation to discuss the future of the national health system. She highlighted the difficulties of ensuring equality at a time when scientific research is increasingly moving towards personalised medicine, genomics and new scenarios on the neuroscience front, Quotidiano Sanità reported.
“All of this will cost more, a lot more. We have succeeded in ensuring sustainability and access to advanced therapies by setting up the innovation fund. But only with careful negotiation we will be able to continue to guarantee access to treatments regardless of income,” she told the meeting.
It was highlighted during the discussion how Italy is the only country where the right to healthcare is enshrined in the constitution. Other countries have very different approaches, especially the U.S., where health is considered to be a “commodity”, it was said.
Police investigate suspected drugs reimbursement fraud
Police are investigating a suspected drugs reimbursement fraud in Milan which could involve pharma, according to Thursday’s La Repubblica.
The case appears to revolve around the costs of some drugs classified as ‘File F’, the paper said. These are products which are procured directly by hospitals and subsequently reimbursed by the national health service, it explained. The police suspect that the costs were artificially inflated.
According to the paper, around 12 people are under investigation so far, including directors of a private hospital network and Mylan’s legal representative. Police are looking to collect information from the Lombardy administration about drugs bought by hospitals which were then reimbursed by the health service.
The investigation, which started in September last year, could lead to charges of criminal association aimed at defrauding the public administration in a series of transactions which took place between January 2013 to January 2017, La Repubblica said.
Post-election stalemate continues
Italy's post-election stalemate is continuing as parties jostle for position in coalition negotiations, Corriere della Sera reported on Wednesday.
President Sergio Mattarella appears to be playing the long game, the paper said. He wants to give the politicians every chance to find a majority in parliament before resorting to alternatives.
The president of the senate, Elisabetta Alberto Castellati, has been empowered to assemble an alliance, probably involving the (far-right) League and the (anti-establishment) Five Star Movement, which would be able to win a vote of confidence.
However, should no new government emerge from the process, the president will look for more ‘technical’ solutions. According to Corriere della Sera, Mattarella is unlikely to accept a ‘populist’ administration with unfettered power and would want to see checks and balances in place before allowing it.
Pharma salaries among the highest in Italy
Staff and executives in the pharma industry receive among the highest salaries in Italy, Corriere della Sera reported on Tuesday.
A study by Hays Italia looked at several different sectors. It found that people working in Milan have the highest earnings, with biomedical and pharma staff at the top.
A clinical project manager can expect a starting salary of €57,000 a year both in Rome and Milan, while a medical advisor wth 5-10 years experience will take home €80,000 in Milan and €75,000 in Rome. Medical directors earn around €150,000, the paper said.
Recordati had positive start to year - CEO
Recordati had a positive start to the year and is on course to meet its full-year targets, the CEO, Andrea Recordati, was quoted as saying on the sidelines of the annual shareholders meeting by the Wednesday edition of financial daily MF.
The group had sales of €366.5 million in the first quarter, a 7.2% increase over the same period in 2017. It is forecasting annual sales of €1.35 billion-€1.75 billion and EBIDTA of €490 million-€500 million. It is looking to expand through organic growth, targeted acquisitions to strengthen the product portfolio and increased revenues from new markets, the paper said.
Tuscany to promote targeted medicines dosing for savings
Tuscany council has approved a motion which will see the region promote a strategy for targeted medicines dosing to cut waste and generate savings, Quotidiano Sanità reported on Thursday.
The idea is for pharmacies to aim to dispense the quantities of drugs which the patient actually needs rather than always providing a full pack.
The proposal came from one of the smaller parties on the left, Sinistra Italiana, and the regional council approved its motion unanimously, the online publication said.
It was described as a very important initiative to make pharma spending more efficient. It was also noted that countries including the U.S., Great Britain, and Germany have already started such schemes.