Energy crisis and costs out of control: the alarm of the Italian pharmaceutical supply chain

Farmindustria - Egualia - Assoram - ADF - Federfarma Servizi - Federfarma - Assofarm launched the alarm on the unsustainability of the costs caused by the dramatic energy crisis that is seriously endangering the entire drug supply chain.

For this reason, the Associations ask that the supply chain be considered, as occurred during the pandemic, an essential sector to which to ensure continuity and sustainability of the supply of gas, electricity and fuel for transport, assuming the adoption of measures in this sense among the priorities. of the political and government agenda. Only in this way will it be possible to guarantee treatment to citizens, avoiding the risk of a shortage of therapies in Italy and abroad.

The exorbitant increase in energy costs of 600% compared to a year ago also entails real risks for the survival of the same companies. The operators in the supply chain are absorbing an important part of the increases, but not in full. This determines for companies additional increases in the costs of all the factors of production and distribution (materials, packaging, maintenance, vials, packaging, etc.), which grew on average by 35-40% compared to last year.

It is a situation made even more serious by the devaluation of the euro against the dollar, the currency with which 80% of the active ingredients come from China and India, and by the problems of supplying raw materials. A combination that risks causing serious shortages of medicines, already registered in some cases.

The unstoppable escalation of costs is also affecting companies in the primary, intermediate and final distribution of the drug with management costs that are no longer sustainable, in particular for the cold chain, which adopts continuous cycle refrigeration systems.

A scenario that, in the absence of concrete measures to combat and support, seriously jeopardizes the continuation of the activity that guarantees the essential public service of the distribution to the community of medicines and all health products.

Companies in the supply chain cannot pass on even part of these higher costs to the prices of prescription medicines, which are negotiated or set by law. This is demonstrated by the Istat data which detects the 1% reduction in consumer prices compared to 2021, against an inflation of 8.4%.

For these reasons, Farmindustria - Egualia - Assoram - ADF - Federfarma Servizi - Federfarma - Assofarm, also in the light of impromptu requests for tax increases on sector companies that would inevitably have an impact on the entire supply chain, urge the adoption of urgent measures, in support of the production and distribution of drugs during this extraordinary crisis resulting from the increase in costs, securing the continuity of supplies in an economically sustainable manner.

The risk, in fact, is that of the economic unsustainability of certain productions or distribution services, as a consequence of the inflationary crisis, could cause the  shortages and even territorial unavailability for rural pharmacies which often constitute the main health center of small towns. The pharmaceutical sector also highlights the need for attractiveness policies to guarantee and increase investments.

In view of the autumn, with the need to guarantee the new campaigns for anti-Covid vaccines and with the flu season at the door, it is essential to ensure all the conditions to guarantee citizens the availability in pharmacies of medicines, vaccines, medical devices and health products, availability that today appears to be increasingly at risk.

It is therefore in the common interest of the country and our health system that the role played by companies in the sector, private operators serving the needs of the community, is protected by implementing every intervention to allow the indispensable economic sustainability of the whole sector.

Source: InSalutenews