The health of the Italian pharmaceutical industry

03 Febbraio 23

Despite difficulties in supplies and the rising cost of raw materials, the Italian pharmaceutical industry still grew in 2022. Production was up 10 percent, with a total value of 38 billion euros and a 44 percent increase in exports.

Signs that confirm the excellence of the Italian pharmaceutical supply chain, first in Europe with results that far exceed the main competitors Germany and France. 

Optimism and caution from Farmindustria

In a recent meeting with the press, Farmindustria President Marcello Cattani highlighted the need to work so that Italy can maintain its supremacy and Europe is strengthened “on a path of greater autonomy and independence in supply chains starting with active ingredients.” Although the alarm over drug shortages has been greatly reduced and the 2022 results confirm an upward trend, resource shortages and high production costs weigh on the future of many companies.

Among the issues to be addressed to keep the sector’s competitiveness high, Cattani highlighted the need for new reforms, the need to eliminate the payback and to intervene in the logic of cutting the prices of drugs reimbursed by the National Health System, which in the face of rising production costs remain among the lowest in Europe. Measures needed “with a view to enhancing the value of medicines for the health of citizens, to give development and rapid access to medicines and innovation at the central and regional levels.”

Forecasts on the employment front

Between 2016 and 2022, hiring in the pharmaceutical supply chain increased by 10 percent, a figure that rises to 15 percent if only those under 35 are considered. Among the most sought-after profiles are biotechnologists, data science managers, electronic engineers, and process engineers. A trend that will continue in the coming months. “We will continue with a robust trend of hiring toward new digital and scientific skills,” Cattani pointed out, “that can strengthen the transition to full digitization of production as well as of the scientific and research and commercial activities of pharmaceuticals.”

This is a clear sign of a marked propensity for innovation, on the part of the Italian pharmaceutical industry, which in recent years has contributed to generating skilled employment and improving the welfare of workers. Farmindustria data show, in fact, that pharma ranks first in training, open innovation, social inclusion, parenting support and corporate welfare.

The Italian pharmaceutical industry between innovation and sustainability

According to Farmindustria, Pharma’s highly innovative vocation represents a driver not only for economic growth, but also for the country’s sustainable development. It is no coincidence that the Italian pharmaceutical industry also holds the lead in safety, environmental impact reduction, social responsibility and community support initiatives.

In 2022, more than 90 percent of companies have confirmed or increased investments in new technologies, “in order not to interrupt the flow of innovation in the country,” ensure patient access to therapies and protect public health. Digitization makes it possible to reduce resource consumption, optimise processes and update production quickly, integrating new drugs with the latest medical devices and diagnostic tools.