Pharmaceutical market in Italy - Statistics & Facts

Italy is one of the leading pharmaceutical markets worldwide . In 2020, the Southern European country represented the sixth largest pharmaceutical market worldwide. The Italian pharmaceutical industry grew considerably over recent years in terms of production, value added, investments, and trade. Regarding innovation, Italy accounts for 22 percent of the total number of clinical trials authorized in the European Union.

Important market for global players

The pharmaceutical market is highly globalized , which means that many foreign companies generate a significant part of their revenues in Italy. Hence, it is quite important for national, but also foreign companies to keep track of figures and trends regarding the Italian pharmaceutical market. Leading pharmaceutical companies, based on revenues generated on the Italian market, are companies originated from abroad: Eli Lilly, Sanofi, Merck Sarono, and AbbVie.

Pharmacies - the major channel

The main retail channel for pharmaceuticals are pharmacies. In 2020, the Italian pharmaceutical market reached a sales value of over 24 billion euros and a sales volume of roughly 2.5 billion units. The prescription drug segment accounted for around 57 percent of the total pharmacy market, whereas commercial products represented 43 percent. The fastest-growing segment in 2020 were healthcare items, with an annual growth rate of astonishing 27 percent. Among consumer healthcare products, self-medication owned the largest share of the market in terms of both volume and value.

The consumer side

In recent years, both the number of Italian pharmaceutical drug consumers and the volume of consumption increased. In terms of therapeutic classes, the drugs with the greatest consumption value were the ones to treat diseases of the cardiovascular system, while the most used active ingredient in terms of daily doses per population was ramipril.

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