MILAN, 8 Mar (APM) - Pharma is now Tuscany’s fastest growing industry with exports that have tripled in the last 10 years to €2.7 billion euros, according to Tuesday’s Il Sole 24 Ore.
It is a development which no one had expected. The region’s leather goods production continues to be the biggest industry. But pharma has clearly benefited from growth in Italy which has allowed the country to overtake Germany as the largest drugs producer in Europe with €31.2 billion euros sales, the paper said.
Menarini has been one of the protagonists and has ambitious plans for further growth. It has bought an area in Sesto Fiorentino just outside Florence for further expansion and is investing in a research centre, Vaxynethic, near Siena for the development of new technology for vaccines' production.
Eli Lilly is also looking to expand insulin production at its site in Sesto Fiorentino with €100 million of investment. Kedrion has plans for €37 million expansions of its immunoglobulin production in Garfagnana.
Florence-based Molteni will put €50 million into enlargement of its production site, while Pharmanutra has a €10 million growth strategy for its nutritional business.
Regional differences accessing diabetes drugs
There are a significant regional differences over access to diabetes drugs, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Tuesday.
A study by the Italian diabetes society SID showed that this is especially true in the availability of more innovative drugs such as DPP-4 inhibitors, GLP-1 agonists, SGLT2 inhibitors and new insulin analogues.
Not all drugs have been approved for reimbursement in all regions. Some regions have put restrictions on prescription and dispensing with the aim of cutting costs, SID has warned.
The society cited Emilia Romagna and Veneto as two regions which have limited the quantities of innovative drugs which can be used and imposed clinical restrictions on reimbursement.
Pfizer, AstraZeneca executives found guilty of bankruptcy fraud
Pfizer and AstraZeneca executives have been found guilty of bankruptcy fraud by a Milan court, Il Fatto Quotidiano reported on Tuesday.
The case involved pharma sales company Marvecs which collapsed in 2011 with a €160 million financial hole. The firm had hired around 1,000 staff, many of them medical representatives, over a period of four years without having any jobs for them, the paper said.
The pharma executives, who are said to have been on the boards of the two companies, were given prison sentences of between 2.5-3 years. They were accused of having transferred parts of their group’s sales networks to Marvecs despite being aware of its precarious financial position. The transfers were designed to boost profits, the paper claimed.
Around 400 medical representatives reported the company to the authorities. After a lengthy investigation, the pubic prosecutor in Milan asked that 20 people, including pharma executives, lawyers and consultants, should be sent to trial.
Pfizer paid health operators, organisations €2 million in Sicily
Pfizer made payments of more than €2 million between 2015-2017 to health operators and related organisations in Sicily, according to Wednesday’s Il Sicilia.
The money went to universities, foundations, the head of medical associations, educational centres, travel agencies, consultants and dozens of doctors, the paper said.
It claimed that there was a lack of transparency about who received the money and what it was used for, suggesting that some paid to travel agencies actually went to doctors who attended medical educational events.
Triptorelin approved for reimbursement for gender dysphoria
Triptorelin has been approved for reimbursement as a treatment for gender dysphoria, Avvenire reported on Wednesday.
The drug’s effectiveness in blocking puberty means that it can be used for adolescents ahead of gender change.
However, the paper said that experts have warned that there may be unknown risks from using the drug in this way. It noted that there are a significant amounts of false diagnosis where signs of gender dysphoria in preadolescents may be the result of cultural or psychological pressures instead.
In addition, the drug, which is used to treat 12-18 year olds, may create imbalances in physical and cognitive development that are not later readjusted, the paper said.
EU approves extension indications for Chiesi COPD triple therapy
The European Commission has approved extension indications for a Chiesi triple extra fine therapy to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), About Pharma reported on Wednesday.
The therapy, a combination of inhaled corticosteroids, long-acting beta-agonist and long-acting muscarinic antagonist (ICS/LABA/LAMA), can now be prescribed to patients not adequately treated with a LABA/LAMA therapy or a ICS/LABA combination, the paper said.
“From today we are able to offer these patients a new therapeutic option to help them manage their disease,” Alessandro Chiesi, the company’s European region head, was quoted as saying.