Medicines, Campania soars with exports: 6 billion in 2023

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Italy is increasingly the “drug granary” for the world with production exceeding the 50 billion mark for the first time in 2023. And among the drivers of this growth of Made in Italy medicines is Campania which has reached record numbers with an increasingly strong vocation for exports: its value has increased fivefold since 2018, reaching 6 billion in exports last year , now one manufacturing product in four (26%) of the Region that goes abroad is a drug, also representing 86% of hi-tech exports and projecting Naples into fourth place in the provincial ranking of pharmaceutical exports only behind Ascoli, Latina and Milan. The strength of this industrial chain is based on around fifteen companies – including multinationals and Italian-owned companies – which guarantee 2 thousand direct employees who become over 4 thousand through related activities. Companies that have been investing in the area for years as demonstrated by the fact that the rate of investments in pharmaceuticals has doubled every year in the last five years: the latest is that of Novartis which has decided to bet over 70 million between now and 2025 to expand its Torre Annunziata production site also hiring 150 people (when fully operational there will be 300) to bring it to a production of 10 billion tablets per year by next year (today there are 8 billion) in the areas of cardiovascular, neuroscience and oncology and with drugs for heart failure – a blockbuster of the multinational – which with 2.5 billion tablets also reaches the Chinese market plus 117 other countries around the world. «Campania is a spearhead of the pharmaceutical industry in the South. This is demonstrated by the presence in the area of ​​large, medium and small companies that represent Made in Italy at its best, with that look to the future and that creativity that has always distinguished us”, warns the president of Farmindustria Marcello Cattani on the occasion of the eighteenth stage of the Farmindustria’s road show in Italy on the value of the drug which yesterday stopped in Novartis’ 150 thousand m2 plant near Naples. Cattani recognizes in the Government “the right attention to the sector”, but asks for important signals on the factors that limit its further development: from the payback that weighs on companies “like a divine condemnation” to the review of “effective and timely” incentives to attract investments up to patent protection “on which the EU seems to have abandoned ideological positions”. In the same vein, Costanzo Jannotti Pecci, president of Confindustria Campania, evokes the need for “an industrial policy plan that has an adequate time horizon and a strategy on Campania logistics for medicines”.

But what is the “recipe” for this one Italian way of the drug? «In Italy there is a successful mix made up of multinationals, large, highly internationalized Italian-capital companies and small companies with large production capacities», explains Lucia Aleotti, vice president of Farmindustria. A fabric that is also found in Campania where first and foremost there is the big Novartis with «this plant which is a flagship of the company and which has also been certified by the Chinese authorities, a country to which our exports will continue to grow. Here in Torre Annunziata the ecosystem worked: from the skills of the people to the institutions that acted effectively and quickly”, underlines the CEO of Novartis Italia Valentino Confalone.

But among the other successful experiences in the area there is also Pierrel spa, a company from Campania which is one of the main world producers of dental anesthetics with a turnover of 60 million and investments of 40 million in the last 5 years in the Capua plant. And then Kedrion, a big player in plasma-derived medicines, which has a site 15 km from Naples in the Sant’Antimo plant which produces 29 specialties distributed in 60 countries, and Damor pharmaceuticals with research and production laboratories in Naples which has just invested 12 million in last three years.

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