MILAN, 22 Mar (APM) - Walgreens Boots Alliance may start building a pharmacy chain in Italy if a pilot project with two outlets in Milan goes well, according to Saturday’s Il Sole 24 Ore.
The paper was reporting on Alpherga Pharmacy’s European Convention 2019, an event held in Monte Carlo last week. WBA’s chief operating officer, Ornella Barra, spoke at a meeting with the Italian press, the paper said.
She highlighted the group’s cautious strategy for new markets where it tests the market and analyses the prospects. “This is always our approach worldwide. Our aim is not to transfer a model but to create a model suited to the demands of consumers in the individual country. To do this we need to take time, invest resources and train people,” she was quoted as saying.
Last August, Italy passed a law which will allow large groups to own multiple pharmacy outlets. Barra described it as a positive development. “There is awareness of the need to evolve and the entry of corporations in the pharmacy sector represents an opportunity,” she said.
The COO insisted that independent pharmacists will benefit because of the way the law has been structured. No group will be allowed to own more than 20% of the pharmacy outlets in a single region. This will give pharmacists different options including selling to a larger chain or continuing to be independent.
According to Il Sole 24 Ore, the Italian market is ripe for consolidation. Citing 2018 data from IQVIA, it said that pharmacy chains account for just 1.6% of the total outlets in the country. IQVIA forecasts that around 10.3% of pharmacies will be in chains by 2021 with around 15% of market share.
Italy used fewer antibiotics in 2017 but still above EU average
Italy used fewer antibiotics in 2017 but it was still above the EU average and large regional differences persist, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Tuesday.
The paper cited a report from medicines agency AIFA which showed that average consumption was 25.5 defined daily doses (DDD) per 1,000 inhabitants with 85% of doses reimbursed by the national health service. Per capita spending on antibiotics fell by 1.7% to €14.33.
The AIFA report showed that resistant infections are found in all levels of population but are most common in the very young and very old.
Average consumption in the south of the country was 24.9 DDD per 1,000 inhabitants compared to 20.7 in the centre and 15.6 in the north. On the other hand, two regions in the south, Campania and Puglia saw the biggest falls in consumption (-5.5% and -6.8% respectively) and in spending (-5.1% and -8.5%).
Pharma paid 611 Genoa doctors €15 million - consumers group
A consumers’ group has accused 10 pharma companies of paying 611 doctors in Genoa a total of around €15 million, La Repubblica reported on Saturday.
It named the companies as AbbVie, Almirall, Merck, MSD, Hospira, Pfizer, Pfizer Italia, Pierre Fabre Pharma, Pierre Fabre Italia and GlaxoSmithKline.
The consumers’ group, Codacons, has reported them and a number of charitable foundations and hospitals to the anti-corruption body ANAC, the paper said.
According to an investigation by Codacons, more than 32,500 doctors, hospitals and foundations throughout Italy received more than €163 million in payments from pharma between 2015-2017.
MolMed to start EU multi-centre CAR-T trial after AIFA authorisation
MolMed is to start a multi-centre trial of its CAR-T project CD44v6 after receiving authorisation for a Phase I/II study from medicines agency AIFA, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Wednesday.
Milan’s San Raffaele hospital, which will coordinate the trial, together with Rome’s paediatric clinic Bambino Gesù, will be the two centres in Italy. The other three are in Spain, Germany and the Czech Republic.
The trial will be part of Eure-CarT Horizon 2020 of which MolMed is a sponsor. Its main objective is to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the CD44v6 CAR-T cell immunotherapy in acute myeloid leukaemia and multiple myeloma, the paper said.
Roche’s Gazyva now available in Italy for follicular lymphoma
Roche’s Gazyva (obinutuzumab) is now available in Italy for follicular lymphoma, About Pharma reported on Wednesday.
It said it has been approved as a first line treatment in combination with induction chemotherapy, followed by Gazyvaro as a maintenance treatment.
The new indication is based on the results of the Gallium study which showed that the treatment increases progression free survival compared to the standard of rituximab and chemotherapy follow by maintenance rituximab, About Pharma explained,
Antonello Pinto, director of haematology and innovative therapies at Pascale Foundation of Naples, described the aim as being to ensure the interval between first and subsequent therapy, in the event of relapse, is as long as possible.