The challenge of longevity: Only science can make care and assistance sustainable

The challenge of longevity: Only science can make care and assistance sustainable

In 2021, there were 761 million people in the world over the age of 65. Of these, 80% live in the world’s twenty most developed economies, those that – combined – produce 85% of global GDP. According to the United Nations World Social Report 2023, in 2050 there will be 1.6 billion people over the age of 65, and it is necessary to rethink social policies, so as not to leave anyone behind.
Indeed, longevity brings with it the challenge of healthy aging: the extra years must have a good quality of life. Thanks to advances in therapeutic innovations and increased awareness of lifestyles, it is now possible to live longer, but the burden of chronic diseases and high social impact poses a major challenge to health systems. When it comes to demographics, Italy holds the record: the aging index (that is, the ratio between the population over 65 and those under 15) is the highest among EU countries. Will we be able to take care of the elderly while keeping the health system sustainable? It is precisely from this question that the Talkin’ minds of AstraZeneca’s “From Demography to Economics: The Role of Life Sciences for Italy” began, which took place on June 8 in Rome under the auspices of Farmindustria and Federated Innovation.

Quantum leap

In this sense, investing in the life sciences is fundamental: “Increasing longevity in Italy – he said.” Sandra SavinoUndersecretary of the Ministry of Economy and Finance – a major challenge to the sustainability of health care systems, making necessary a new paradigm that guarantees equitable access to treatment and promotes prevention. Pharmaceutical innovation and gene therapies in particular represent an important opportunity as they can offer solutions to diseases that are currently untreatable or difficult to manage. At the same time, digitization provides the opportunity for early diagnosis and remote care management, which helps to delay disease progression and reduce health costs.” The intention is therefore to implement a paradigm shift, moving from a short-term cost-based approach to a long-term one focused on investing in health. and longevity.In 2022, pharmaceutical companies invested 1.9 billion euros in research and development in our country, about 7% of all investments in Italy, representing an increase of 11% compared to 2021. Between 2017 and 2022, pharmaceutical companies’ investment growth in Research and development was 22% and public-private partnerships increased.
Several parties highlighted the need for a paradigm shift: Enrico Giorgetti, General Manager of Farmindustria, noted that in Italy there are more than five thousand companies that make up the life sciences sector. “We can contribute to the research and development of products and processes, but we also have a social role and we want to help change the mindset and organize the processes by collaborating with institutions in a partnership approach.”

press to Amerigo CecchettiDirector of Altems-University of the Sacred Heart, explains how: “We must be able to make the most of technological innovation, valuing it in its ability to bring health to a single patient, but also in its ability to invigorate processes of organizational change that allow us to take responsibility for the problems of citizens Better and generate more efficient processes. We used to build a health care system based on a supply system, looking to specialists. Now we have to build a system for citizens: when a person enters a hospital, they look for trained, up-to-date doctors who care about their needs. He doesn’t care what kind of contract operators, the region in which it is located, or whether the structure is public or private.”

The life sciences industry carves out more than space in all of this. We thought about longevity because it is one of the toughest challenges. It requires a cultural change to start seeing it as an opportunity rather than a problem. Our core business – comment Francis Patarnello, Vice President of Market Access and Government Affairs AstraZeneca – researches, develops and makes available products to create value for society. We ask for help from the state system so that we can introduce the innovation in an environment that recognizes its value and does not suffer from it as a problem and is able to use it as soon as possible in a fair way by measuring its positive impact on clinical, economic and social outcomes.

Longevity economy

The first step in obtaining results is to know what we are talking about: “The biggest difficulty today is the absence of a correct cultural transformation process on the part of political and institutional decision makers, who do not know the elderly at all – he notes Roberto Messinathe first president of Italy Federanziani – and without this readiness, the market will not be able to develop in the face of a long-lived tsunami.

As mentioned during the event mgr Vincenzo PagliaPresident of the Pontifical Academy for Life, those born between 1945 and 1955 today constitute the first collective generation of aging: “The data speak for the 14 million people we have to take care of: a new political and organizational structure indispensable to respond to the needs of these people, only possible if overcome On the division between health and social care. Pnrr only spoke to elderly people who are not self-sufficient, and they are a small part of them. The main problem is fragility and in this sense prevention becomes fundamental. ” Joseph Coughlinfounder and director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab, developed the theory of longevity economics, a model that sees politics, economics, and the life sciences actively cooperating in a society that places value on every stage of life and is simultaneously able to attract more investment and talent.

The importance of programming

“In 2023, health spending on GDP is expected to reach 6.7%: this is the highest figure ever recorded – he emphasized Francesco Saverio MeniniDirector of EEHTA CEIS at Tor Vergata University and President of SITHA – which, coupled with an increase in real health spending that has not happened for 15 years, except during the Covid period, makes me think that finally awareness of how important it is to invest in the health sector. The best way to reduce other items of expenditure, such as that for the social security system or social system: “Assessing innovation, diagnosing disease earlier, and treating patients more effectively determines the reduction of disability and the impact of diseases: an improvement in economic and social, as well as the patient’s quality of life.”

Mennini concludes that after an increase in resources, there is a need for health planning “that is worthy of the name, based on specific goals and capable of identifying real needs and requirements, being able to measure and monitor what is being done.”

Lorenzo Wittum, President and CEO of AstraZeneca Italia, summed up the company’s efforts as follows: “In this edition we wanted to focus on the need for a long-term and sustainable health and social system and the need to address problems in a very organized way: ensuring access to treatment and at the same time spreading a correct culture of prevention and early diagnosis.In this context, investing in research and innovation represents an opportunity to make our country more competitive.” Then the top ranked AstraZeneca Italy indicated that in the biennium 2023/2024 the company will invest 97 million euros in research and development to carry out more than 200 clinical studies “thanks to the collaboration with more than 300 research centers located throughout Italy. That is why we are convinced of the necessity Collaboration, simplification and partnership between the public and private sectors to confirm Italy’s leadership in Europe and the world.

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