In 2020, around half a million people in Italy were unable to buy medicines that they needed for financial reasons. Those unable to get treatment before last March could at least seek help from the many welfare organizations operating throughout the country, which provided treatment and medicine. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of these Bodies (5.9%) unfortunately had to close, while many others (40.6%) suspended part of their activities, with the result that hundreds of thousands of people in financial difficulty stopped receiving treatment. The pandemic has therefore not only made many people poorer, but has forced many others, who were already struggling before the virus, into an even more precarious situation.
This is the dramatic snapshot of the Italian situation taken by the OPSan Health Poverty Observatory (a Banco Farmaceutico research body) through the 8th “Donate to cure – Health Poverty and Drug Donation” report prepared with the full support of IBSA Farmaceutici and Aboca, whose data were presented on 10 December.
According to the study, it is not only the most destitute who are affected: in 2019, over 3.5 million families had to suspend or limit, at least once, the necessary expenditure for medical examinations and periodic checks due to financial constraints. We are therefore facing a situation that is both dramatic and unprecedented. In this context, it is essential to support bodies dedicated to assistance and social solidarity so that they can continue to support the most vulnerable members of society. IBSA Farmaceutici also views this as its responsibility and has therefore supported Banco Farmaceutico’s work for many years.