Article from the February 2022 issue of Forbes Italia. Subscribe!
Innovating in the pharmaceutical import sector, particularly in terms of savings for the actors involved in the process, and bringing Italy closer to the standards of other European countries. It is for this purpose that it was born in 2014 Gmm Farmathe Italian company that buys medicines from EU member states and imports them into our country.
A legitimate trade approved by Aifa which allows pharmacists to make considerable savings, compared to the traditional distribution circuit. And which has enabled the company, in just a few years, to grow economically on average by 68% each year, to establish itself as a market leader, to enter into international relations with more than 20 countries, and to contribute to the turning point of the parallel import medicine in Italy. Also because the same Gian Maria MorraCEO of Gmm Farma, occupying the position of President of AIM (Association of Italian Medicine Importers), embodies both the point of reference for a whole category of entrepreneurs and the role of referent in the dialogue initiated with the Aifa.
Falling drug prices
It is thanks to a virtuous public-private collaboration, to a sharp study and analysis of the sector, carried out by Aifa in a research work summarized in the first Osmed report on the monitoring of the import-export of medicines, that the determination was made by the management signed by Nicola Magrini, Director General of Aifa, which from March 26, 2021 provides for the possibility of accessing the simplified procedure also for medicines on the transparency list (also called reimbursed).
This means that if the price of the drug is at least 7% lower than that of the product already marketed in Italy, an automatic approval of imported class A drugs is envisaged, also allowing reimbursement. “Simplified negotiation is an alternative to ordinary negotiation, the objective is to promote price control and obtain an immediate reduction in cost both for the national health system and for the end consumer. Italy is still a young market compared to other European countries, but the introduction of such a mechanism places Italian legislation among the best in Europe. In addition, we must not forget that we have been able to achieve another very important result: the clear reduction in the time for issuing import authorizations (Aip) from 18 months to three months,” says Morra.
READ ALSO: “Gmm Farma’s borderless offer, a reference thanks to the parallel import of medicines”
40% of Gmm Farma employees are under 30 years old
With an economic model based on young people and professionalism, the Italian company has always had a very specific mission: to keep the spirits that usually migrate north or abroad to find work in southern Italy. By investing massively in the search for talent and, consequently, in the training and motivation of each of its components. It is therefore no coincidence that approximately 40% of employees are under 30 years old and if the team’s expansion process is not yet complete, despite the challenges triggered by the pandemic.
“Although we have seen a contraction in some pharmaceutical sectors, we have managed to converge our core business and also examine other opportunities offered by the European market. In addition to having expanded the portfolio of products sold in pharmacies, thanks to the work of our team, we have been able to identify certain categories of products to focus on, such as cosmetics, supplements and medical devices”. Aspects that, despite the obvious difficulties, have enabled the company to closed 2021, with a turnover of 22.5 million euros, up 10% compared to 2020.
Savings through parallel import
An important rally which, based on the latest AIFA data, is set to increase more and more. Indeed, even if the annual pharmaceutical expenditure amounts to 2 billion euros, the market for imported drugs is still quite small, around 150 million euros per year. “Even if this could appear to be a limited phenomenon and of low incidence, it should be noted that before the entry of Gmm Farma, these figures were falling. This is why our objective is to get closer to those countries which make substantial savings thanks to parallel imports. In fact, at European level, according to Affordable Medicines Europe, the overall savings, coming precisely from parallel imports, amount to around 5.5 billion euros”.
The digitization of Gmm Farma
Without forgetting that the Italian pharmacy, as well as the entire Italian system, is evolving and undergoing a substantial and completely revolutionary technological and digital transformation. “The digitization of acts is increasingly aimed at an intelligent pharmacy close to the real needs of the 4.0 user. here because Gmm Farma offers itself as the ideal partner for around 19,000 Italian pharmacies. A partner that will make it possible to achieve real savings thanks to the sale of high turnover drugs at lower prices. The global economy of the phenomenon will have positive repercussions at all levels, from the pharmacist to the end user, who will be able to buy European medicines with a 7% discount in all Italian pharmacies”.
The new reconditioning workshop
That is why, in addition to having invested in the construction of new offices and a new warehouse at Interporto Campano, Gmm Farma has created its own reconditioning workshop. This is the first in Italy entirely dedicated to the processing of imported drugs, which internalizes an activity that allows it to speed up the drug marketing process.
“Our strength lies in the quality of service which, at the same time, offers the incentive for greater competition. And this, in addition to making the sector stronger, will allow us, in relation to our experience and our foresight, to be protagonists. Finally, the continuous investments in research on all pharmaceutical sectors will increasingly allow Italian pharmacies to open a window on purchasing opportunities in Europe”, concludes Morra.
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