Corporate Social Responsibility

Eleventh Report Donare per curare (“Donating to cure”): 427,000 people are in conditions of health poverty

Unfortunately, also this year the demand for “healthcare help” registers a significant growth in statistical terms. Indeed, as many as 427,177 were the people who, during 2023, requested assistance from one of the 1,892 organisations affiliated with Banco Farmaceutico to obtain free treatment and medicines, thus highlighting a 10.6% increase compared to 2022 (386,253).

The picture emerges from 11th Report Donare per curarePovertà Sanitaria e Donazione Farmaci (“Donating to cure – Health Poverty and Donation of Drugs”), created thanks to the support of IBSA Farmaceutici and ABOCA and presented at the conference promoted by Banco Farmaceutico and AIFA, the Italian Medicines Agency, on December 5.

Health poverty is worsening due to the general increase in the cost of living, caused by inflation, which determines a reduction in individual well-being, which in turn affects people’s health. Furthermore, the various crises that have followed one another, caused first by the pandemic, then by the war in Ukraine and, finally, by the recent conflict in the Middle East, further eroded the ability of low-income families to dedicate resources to health and medicines, thus generating difficulties even for those belonging to the so-called middle class.

Without the Third Sector, the stability of the SSN would be at risk

The data indicates that, while family spending on medicines grows, the part covered by the SSN (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale, the Italian National Health Service) decreases. In 2022, in fact, the total pharmaceutical expenditure was equal to 22.46 billion, 2.3 billion more (+6.5%) compared to 2021 (when the expenditure had been equal to 20.09 billion). However, only 12.5 billion (55.9%) are expenses borne by the SSN (in 2021 it was 11.87, equal to 56.3%); the remaining 9.9 billion (44.1%) were paid by families (in 2021 it was 9.21, equal to 43.7%).

This means that, compared to the previous year, families had to face a € 704 million increase (+7.6%) in the expenses paid from their pockets. In the six-year period (2017-2022), pharmaceutical spending incurred by families has grown by € 1.84 billion (+22.8%). This increase was supported by all families, even those with fewer resources, forced to pay entirely for over-the-counter drugs, in addition to the cost of prescription charges (exemptions excluded).

Without the Third Sector, as Banco Farmaceutico and AIFA emphasise, the stability of the SSN would be at risk. The non-profit organisations mainly active in health services are 12,578 (employing 103,000 people). Of these, 5,587 finance their activities mostly from public sources. Taking only this subset into account, non-profit organisations represent at least 1/5 of the total Italian healthcare facilities (over 27,000), generating a value of € 4.7 billion.

Our society is facing a general increase in living costs and a simultaneous decrease in the level of individual and collective well-being. These changes particularly affect those who already live in precarious economic conditions, forcing them to make reductions in health spending to meet other family needs. Despite this, there is still the possibility of building a sustainable future that ensures health for all.

It is essential, however, that the various public, private and Third Sector actors involved in the care of people align and commit themselves towards a common objective and an effective solidarity.

A commitment that IBSA Italy has always promoted and supported.

Read more about the 11th Health Poverty Report here.

Read the press release.