EU, fewer rules and more push to innovate

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At the same time, according to IQVIA forecasts, from 2023 to 2028 there will be an explosion of investments in research, equal to 1,700 billion dollars at an international level, by the pharmaceutical industry, which places it in first place in the world among the various sectors . The challenge for the global pharmaceutical industry will therefore be multidimensional and highly complex: translating scientific research into new drugs and treatment processes, ensuring the production capacity of all medicines, avoiding shortages and achieving greater strategic autonomy, i.e. less dependence on imports .

In this context, Europe is doing badly, not to say very badly. Affected as it is on the one hand by the historical dependence on active ingredients, 75% from China and India. And on the other by policies that do not recognize the value of innovation and its connection with economic and industrial development. A strategic shortsightedness that undermines competitiveness and the attraction of investments and skills. While flexible, pro-innovation policies such as those already adopted in countries such as the USA, China, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and capable of attracting investments in both Research and Production would be necessary. Just to give two examples, for the next 10 years the USA has allocated 98 billion dollars for investments in Health Care sectors, while China is committed to the ten-year Made in China 2025 plan, in which pharmaceuticals is among the “key sectors” , which provides overall financing of 520 billion dollars.

Especially in the current phase characterized by an average increase in production costs of 30% compared to 2021, which puts many productions in difficulty and sees Europe more exposed than the USA and China where inflation is lower. In Italy the pharmaceutical industry is strategic, directly and indirectly determining 2% of the GDP with 49 billion euros of production in 2022, over 90% destined for exports, investments of 3.3 billion, 68,600 employees skilled workers (45% of whom are women), growing employment (+9% in 5 years, +15% young people and women). And in 2023 it continues to contribute positively to economic development, again thanks to exports, as shown by the Istat industrial production index which grows by +9% compared to the stability of the main European peers. The redefinition of global structures entails the challenge of competitiveness at all levels, starting with the European one.

Our Government is acting effectively in the EU to enhance the national and European interest. He was the first to point out the critical issues for the competitiveness of the European Commission’s proposal for new EU pharmaceutical legislation, which weakens intellectual property. It is working effectively for investment incentive tools, for example for the STEP Fund. He managed to block crazy rules on packaging and remodulate the PNRR based on new growth needs.

Actions to recover competitiveness are also concrete in Italy, from the changes introduced with the Budget Bill, to the unblocking of the transposition of the EU regulation on clinical trials, to the MIMIT-Ministry of Health table, to the boost to exports and international partnerships (in particular with the USA, the Mediterranean countries, Africa), up to the reform of the Italian Medicines Agency, which we hope will be the basis for better and faster access to medicines.

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