Corporate Social Responsibility

10th report on Health Poverty: 390.000 people in Italy requested healthcare assistance

Today, in our country, over 5 and a half million people live in conditions of absolute poverty. About 7% of these – or 390,000 people – are in conditions of health poverty, and during 2022 they had to request help from one of the 1,806 care organisations affiliated with the Banco Farmaceutico to receive free medicines and treatments.

Impressive numbers, those that emerge from the 10th Report Donare per curare – Povertà Sanitaria e Donazione Farmaci (“Donate to cure – Health Poverty and Drug Donation”), created by OPSan – Osservatorio sulla Povertà Sanitaria (“Observatory on Health Poverty”), a research branch of Banco Farmaceutico, with the unconditional contribution of IBSA Farmaceutici and ABOCA. The data was presented last December 12 at a congress promoted by Banco Farmaceutico and AIFA, during which the many difficulties associated with family healthcare emerged, further aggravated by the current difficult historical situation.

Indeed, our society is dealing with a generalised increase in the cost of living and a concurrent reduction in both individual and collective well-being; it is experiencing the uncertainty dictated by the on-going war in Ukraine, which has repercussions on the economies of the entire world. All this particularly affects those who already live in very low economic conditions, and often translates into cuts in healthcare costs in order to meet other family needs. The report emphasises how, in 2021, 4 million 768 thousand families – of which almost 639 thousand live in absolute poverty – tried to reduce health costs (by giving up or postponing medical visits or periodic checks). Twenty-seven poor families out of 100 renounced healthcare, compared to 13 non-poor families out of 100. The profound differences between poor and non-poor families can be seen in the budget allocated to health: a poor person can count on € 9,9 per month, while a non-poor has six times as much available, i.e. € 61.83. Looking at the budget for the purchase of drugs, the poor have only € 5.85, while the non-poor € 24.51.

Healthcare poverty continues to be a serious problem for thousands of poor families, while sacrifices and renunciations increasingly concern non-poor families as well. Unfortunately, the conditions of those who live in Italy are not destined to improve in the immediate future; this is due to some persistent effects of the economic crisis deriving from the pandemic, as well as to the serious international situation”, declared Sergio Daniotti, President of the non-profit Fondazione Banco Farmaceutico.

The Report is a very important tool for understanding and gaining awareness of a situation which, since the COVID-19 pandemic, is becoming increasingly critical: poverty and unequal access to care are exacerbating the inequalities and suffering of many Italians, who are unable to enjoy a major right, too often taken for granted, such as that of health and well-being.

Helping to combat the phenomena linked to health poverty and the difficulty of accessing treatment in Italy is one of the values ​​underlying the collaboration and support offered by IBSA to Banco Farmaceutico, a well-established partnerships demonstrated both by the support of the team that every year works on the Report on Healthcare Poverty, and by the commitment during the Drug Collection Week, the next edition of which will be held from 7 to 13 February 2023.

These projects fit coherently into the Corporate Social Responsibility pathway undertaken by the company, and leverage tangible actions in order to give substance to “taking care of people and their well-being”, a goal which is the heart of IBSA’s mission.

Read more about the 10th Health Poverty Report here.

Read the press release.