Press review

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Health operators, patients in Italy still distrustful of generics, biosimilars

MILAN, 25 Oct (APM) - Italy's pharmacology society has warned that too many health operators and patients still do not trust generic and biosimilar drugs, Quotdiano Sanità reported on Thursday.
Società Italiana Farmacologia (SIF) has published a position paper highlighting the role of misinformation in increasing doubts. It has started holding courses for student doctors, pharmacists and nurses to explain the regulatory steps that generic and biosimilar drugs have to complete before they are put on the market.
Alessandro Mugelli, SIF's president, said it is unacceptable that students are not receiving accurate information about off-patent drugs. "Unfortunately, it has been our experience that too many health workers have unfounded concerns because they did not receive the right information when they were at university," he explained.

Recordati completes acquisition of Novartis' Signifor and osilodrostat for €351 million

Recordati has competed its acquisition of Novartis' Signifor and another product candiate osilodrostat for €351 million, Milano Finanza reported on Wednesday.
The deal, which was originally announced in July, will see the Italian group take the worldwide rights to Signifor (pasireotide) and Signifor LAR for the treatment of Cushing's disease and acromegaly. It has also bought the rights of osilodrostat (LCI699) an investigational innovative drug for the treatment of endogenous Cushing’s syndrome.
Further payments are envisaged subject to the approval and marketing of osilodrostat, which is in the process of being registered in Europe, as well as royalties on sales of the new product.
Recordati described Cushing's syndrome, which includes Cushing's disease, as a severe endocrine disorder caused by a pituitary adenoma that leads to adrenal cortisol hypersecretion, the paper said. Other causes of endogenous Cushing's syndrome include more rare conditions such as adrenal adenoma, Cushing's syndrome due to ectopic ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) secretion and ACTH-independent macronodular adrenal hyperplasia.
"Osilodrostat is an inhibitor of 11 beta-hydroxylase, an enzyme that catalyses the final phase of cortisol synthesis in the adrenal cortex. This innovative drug for endogenous Cushing's syndrome will represent a new and effective therapeutic option for patients," the company said.
Recordati's share price fell 1.6% to €36.82 immediately after the news was announced, the paper said.

Federalism causing regional differences in vaccination rates, generics use

Federalism has been blamed for causing big regional differences in healthcare, including in vaccination rates and use of generics, according to Thursday's Il Sole 24 Ore
The citizens' rights group Cittadinanzattiva published a report which highlighted marked divergences. Less than half of the regions have achieved 95% coverage for mandatory vaccinations and some are well below 50% for some diseases.
It is the same with generics: in Trento they account for 43% of drugs spending compared to just 21% in Campania.

Chiesi invested €382 million in research in 2018

Chiesi invested €382 million in research, innovation and sustainability, amounting to 22% of sales, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Tuesday.
It was the first international company to obtain B Corporation certification, which recognised its economic, social and environmental value to the local territory. The company is also committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2035.
"The commitment to sustainability is the foundation of the group's corporate strategy which is aimed at improving the quality of life for patients and more generally for the community," chairman Alberto Chiesi was quoted as saying.
However, he also stressed the need for government to support the industry with effective regulation. "We want to work together so that reliable and sustainable conditions are created, avoiding decisions on drugs which are based only on prevailing economic objectives," Chiesi added.

Nobel prizewinner joins Menarini foundation's science committee

Nobel prizewinner Louis Ignarro has joined the science committee of Menarini's international foundation, About Pharma reported on Thursday.
Born in Brooklyn to Italian immigrant parents, Ignarro won the noble prize for Medicine and Physiology with Robert Furchgott and Ferid Murad in 1998 for their discovery of how nitric oxide molecule works in the cardio vascular system. His studies led to the development of medicines commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction and hypertension.

Tuscany building digitalised logistics hub to boost pharma competitiveness

Tuscany is building a digitalised logistics hub for pharma companies to use with the aim of improving competitiveness, Quotidiano Sanità reported on Thursday.
The project was presented at Connext, an event organised by the Confederation of Italian industry in Florence this week. Tuscany-based Lilly, GSK Vaccines, Kedrion and Molteni all signed up in March to support the initiative.
The region's governor, Enrico Rossi, said it is open to companies from throughout Italy. The hub, which is being developed at Collesalvetti, near Livorno, will consist of a digitalised platform, packaging and stocking facilities as well as goods movement and transport services.
"It is a unique platform that will make our territory and businesses even more competitive," Rossi said.
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