Press review

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Recordati reported to be under investigation for alleged tax evasion

Country : China, Ireland, Italy, U.S.

Keywords :
MILAN, 16 Nov (APM) - Recordati is under investigation after being accused of evading taxes on part of its income between 2009-2015, according to Thursday’s Il Sole 24 Ore
The public prosecutor’s office in Milan has ordered a special unit of the police to look into the company’s finances, the paper said. The company itself is in talks with the Italian tax authorities to establish how much it should have paid in taxes.
The Recordati family sold a controlling stake in the group to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners in July (APMHE 58746).
The paper said that investigators have focused on failure to declare income which is an offence punishable with a prison sentence. The failure to make the necessary declaration is said to have been because the income was for Ireland-based companies.
However, according to Il Sole 24 Ore, investigations so far suggest that the pharmaceuticals were marketed by Recordati Italia not Irish subsidiaries. The paper said investigators believe around €1.5 billion of revenues were obtained by the company over six years. That suggested a taxable amount of €400 million which was not declared.

Italy needs value-based approach to drugs reimbursement - think tank

Italy needs to take a value-based approach to drugs reimbursement and technological innovation, the European House-Ambrosetti think tank has concluded, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Wednesday.
The consultancy made a series of recommendations for Italy’s healthcare system in its XII Meridiano Sanità report which was presented in Rome this week.
It suggested that pharmaceutical spending needs to be managed in a holistic and value-based approach, introducing measures that can correct the distorting effects of the payback system that have created serious problems within the regulatory system.
Specifically, European House-Ambrosetti recommends that resources be allowed to pass between the two drug reimbursement budgets so that a deficit in one can be compensated by a surplus in the other.
The think tank also recommended a value based pricing system for assessing the cost-effectiveness of technology so that therapeutic innovation and avoided costs for the healthcare system in the medium-term, as well as the benefits for the wider social and economic system, can be included.
In this context, European House-Ambrosetti praised an experimental project by medicines agency AIFA where real world evidence will be used to measure the avoided costs generated by innovative drugs, Il Sole 24 Ore said.

Shortage of Crohn’s disease drug Questran

Crohn’s disease patients are having difficulty finding Questran (cholestyramine), a drug used to control diarrhoea, Il Giornale reported on Saturday.
Medicines agency AIFA warned in August that pharmacies had run out of supplies. Doctors say that there is no alternative drug available in Italy.
The shortage has been caused by a problem in the manufacturing of the active ingredient and new supplies of the drug are not expected until February, the paper said. AIFA has advised patients to try and buy it from abroad.
There are estimated to be 100,000 Italians with Crohn’s disease. One told the paper that she is unable to leave the house because she can no longer take Questran.

Health ministry aiming to vaccinate 800,000 against measles

The health ministry is looking to vaccinate 800,000 people against measles in a new prevention strategy, La Repubblica reported on Wednesday.
Mandatory vaccinations for all children and adolescents up to 16 years old are to be continued. In addition, a programme to immunise the 16-35 year old bracket will be started.
Vittorio Demicheli, an adviser to the health minister, Giulia Grillo, told the paper that there is now a “measles emergency” in Italy. The most recent outbreaks have been in people with an average age of 25.

China planning to become major force in pharma

China is planning to become a major force in pharma with a plan launched in 2015 to have 100 companies exporting drugs within eight years, Italian Oggi reported on Thursday.
At the same time, the government is looking to reverse a brain drain which has seen many scientists leave for Europe or the U.S. The government has produced objectives for China’s pharma industry including one that companies should register between 5-10 latest generation drugs with regulatory authorities in these two regions.
According to the paper, it will be difficult to achieve given the fierce competition from established groups outside China.

Menarini’s corruption appeal case nears conclusion

An appeal brought by Menarini’s owners against convictions for corruption is nearing a conclusion, according to Thursday’s Il Messaggero.
Lucia Aleotti and her brother Alberto Giovanni Aleotti were given lengthy prison sentences after being found guilty on a number of charges including fraud and money laundering.
The prosecution argued that the owners artificially inflated costs of drugs to have higher reimbursement prices in Italy. The Aleotti family lawyers have applied for an acquittal.
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