Press review

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Chiesi launches QR mobile scanning for respiratory drugs, devices to improve patient information

MILAN, 13 Dec (APM) - Chiesi has introduced a quick response (QR) mobile scanning system for drugs and devices used to treat respiratory disease with the aim of improving patient information, La Nazione reported on Tuesday.
The Italian group said it is aiming to simplify communication to the patient, making information on the quantities and methods of taking a therapy accessible and easier to understand.
The QR code is captured by a mobile phone camera so data can be visualised on the display and information provided about the sterile aerosol formulations containing beclometasone dipropionate and ambroxol hydrochloride, the paper explained.
Chiesi believes it will lead to better therapy compliance and improve the quality of life of people suffering from respiratory diseases. It also thinks the technology will be useful for doctors and pharmacists who will be able to use it in informing patients about the therapies.
Chiesi said its initiative is in line with the latest guidelines from European Medicines Agency on electronic and digital technologies to support the improvement of drug information. It added these have also been implemented by the Italian medicines agency AIFA.
The paper noted that the company announced last week that it intends to invest €350 million over five years to develop an environmentally friendly pressurised Meter Dose Inhaler (pMDI) for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients (APMHE 65387).

Overspending of hospital drugs budget is a funding problem

Overspending of the hospital drugs budget (now known as the direct budget) is a funding problem, a health economist argued in an article published in Quotidiano Sanità on Thursday.
Fabrizio Gianfrate, a professor at the University of Ferrara, noted that recent figures from medicines agency AIFA showed that the direct budget was more than €2.1 billion over budget (APMHER 65439).
He suggested that this is because drugs funding is calculated as a fixed percentage of total spending, or 14.85% of the national health budget, which does not allow resources to be allocated where they are needed.
He said the simplest solution would be to increase the budget for hospital drugs and even increase funding for all drugs paid for by the national health service. Because at the moment Italy's drugs spend is among the lowest in the EU and OECD, he added.
 
He also highlighted how Italy is among the "oldest" countries in the world, whose public spending is more focussed on pensioners than the health service This may result in pensions being used to pay for private healthcare which impoverishes the national health service, he suggested.

Fortune Italia chooses MSD Italy chief as 'Businessperson of the year'

Fortune Italia has chosen Merck Sharp & Dohme’s managing director in Italy as its 'Businessperson of the year', ANSA reported on Wednesday.
Nicoletta Luppi will feature on the cover of the December edition of the magazine, the news agency said.
The magazine used data from Bureau Van Dijk, a Moody's Analytics to identify the companies that have had the best performance in Italy in the last three years in eight sectors, including energy, fashion, food and pharma.
Other managers highlighted in the analysis included Luigi Antonelli, CEO of Angelini Pharma, and Valentino Confalone, general manger of Gilead Italy.
The analysis also spotlighted the pharma industry as one of the best performers with 66,500 employees and €3 billion annual investment, more of half of which goes into R&D.

Generics accounted for 14% of pharmacy drug sales in first nine months

Generics accounted for 14% of €7.8 billion of pharmacy drug sales in the first nine months, About Pharma reported on Wednesday.
The figures came from an analysis of data from IQVIA by generics manufacturers association AssoGenerici. In total 1.4 million of packs of medicines were sold over the period, 22% of which were generics.
In the reimbursed pharmacy drugs segment, sales of generics increased by 7.6% in the first nine months while those of branded products fell by 6.5%.

Direct drugs distribution proposal criticised

A proposal to introduce direct distribution of drugs to patients as a savings strategy for the Puglia region has been questioned by a pharmacists' federation, Quotidiano Sanità reported on Monday.
A head of the medical association FNOMCeO, Filippo Anelli, called for the regional authorities to have hospitals and specialist health centres dispense medicines to patients.
Andrea Mandelli, head of the pharmacists' federation, FOFI, made clear that it was unwelcome interference in a service that is normal performed by pharmacies.
"The use of direct distribution, a mechanism that inconveniences patients, has led to health professionals who operate in the area, including general practitioners and community pharmacists, being excluded from pharmacological innovation over the years while its costs still have not been calculated. I hope that President Anelli will reconsider his position," he said.
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