Bloomberg News

Monti’s Cuts May Cost Italians New Pills as Drug Firms Protest

July 04, 2012

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti’s plan to cut the budget was criticized by a pharmaceutical lobby, which said reductions in health spending may prompt drug producers to withhold new prescriptions from hospitals.

“These drugs may not arrive in Italy, and this would be a great shame,” Massimo Scaccaborozzi, chief executive officer of an Italian subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ:US) and president of Farmindustria, said today at a conference in Rome. “But it’s not for revenge. It’s because economic sustainability is lacking for us, who have invested in research, to make these drugs available.”

Monti’s government is talking with business leaders, unions and municipal officials this week before announcing the results of an expense review. Monti is seeking cuts to government spending, which accounted for more than half of gross domestic product last year, to avoid tax increases.

“We understand it’s a difficult time for our country, and we understand we’re part of public spending,” said Scaccaborozzi of Cologno Monzese, Italy-based Janssen-Cilag SpA. “But it can’t always be just us to pay a disproportionate amount of the costs.”

Farmindustria, a branch of broader business lobby Confindustria, has about 200 member companies, according to its website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Frye in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at

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