Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/20/2014 -- The downward pressure on generic drug prices in Italy, potential implementation of drug tenders raising the level of competition and the ultimate commoditisation of off-patent medicines, draw attention to the inherent challenges for generic drugmakers looking to profit from the government's focus on cost containment in the healthcare sector.
Headline Expenditure Projections
- Pharmaceuticals: EUR20.91bn (US$27.60bn) in 2013 to EUR19.93bn (US$25.31bn) in 2014; -4.7% in local currency terms and -8.3% in US dollar terms.
- Healthcare: EUR153.55bn (US$202.69bn) in 2013 to EUR155.70bn (US$197.74bn) in 2014; +1.4% growth in local currency terms and -2.4% in US dollar terms.
Risk/Reward Rating: In our Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Risk/Reward Ratings (RRRs), Italy is 13th out of the 15 markets surveyed in Western Europe. Despite being a large market, Italy is characterised by low levels of annual growth, largely due to of widespread price cuts. Additionally, the Italian economy is one of the most vulnerable economies in an already shaky eurozone. High levels of public debt, poor infrastructure and a lack of competitiveness indicate that the country will remain one of the region's laggards over the forecast period.
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Key Trends And Developments
In late Q413, the Italian government announced that it is looking to implement a tendering system for medicines.
A report (Clinical Trials of Drugs in Italy) published by the Italian Medicines Agency, in December 2013, shows that the number of clinical trials in 2012 in Italy was essentially the same (697) as in 2011 (676); early phase studies (Phase I and II) account for the 42.9% of the total, which means that Italian researchers are notably involved in the early phases of the clinical drug development. The best represented therapeutic area is oncology (34.9%).
BMI Economic View: Following nine straight quarters of contraction, we forecast real GDP growth in Italy to reach 0.4% and 0.7% in 2014 and 2015 respectively. However, without a more rapid pace of structural reform, which we do not expect, we believe Italy's growth potential will be capped at 1.0% over the medium-to-long term.
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