The electoral victory of the centre-right coalition in Italy should see far-right firebrand Giorgia Meloni replace former European Central Bank President Mario Draghi as Prime Minister at the end of October 2022, becoming the first woman to ever hold the role. This spirit of change seems also to have permeated Italy’s dynamic pharma industry, with a number of executives switching positions since the publication of our Healthcare & Life Sciences Review Italy country report last month. Here are a few of the most notable examples.
Stephane Brocker, Ipsen
Healthcare in Italy is highly regionalised, with a lot of different decision makers spread throughout the system
After over two years as country president and managing director Italy, Ipsen’s Stephane Brocker has moved on to a global position as VP, head of strategic business excellence. Brocker began his career at Ipsen in 2009, straight out of business school, and after roles in France and China, he joined the Italian affiliate in 2017 and became Italy’s GM in 2020. Under his leadership, the Italy organization supported the company’s global vision of focusing on medicines for oncology, rare diseases and neuroscience and saw sales grow in excess of 20 percent. Brocker also led the affiliate through much of the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting adoption of digital tools.
When interviewed by PharmaBoardroom earlier this year, Brocker described Italy as a mature market where there was still plenty of room to grow. He also spoke of the inherent complexity of the Italian healthcare system “Healthcare in Italy is highly regionalised, with a lot of different decision makers spread throughout the system. What is clear is that the decentralisation means that some regions and hospitals go faster than others, which adds a layer of complexity.” Despite these challenges, Brocker was optimistic about the evolution of Italy’s healthcare ecosystem: “The Italian environment is getting better and the recently announced National Recovery and Resilience Plan should continue to bring in resources and momentum to the overall pharma market.”
Read the full interview with Stephane Brocker.
Frederico Silva, Gilead Sciences
It is extremely exciting to be able to help bring Gilead’s latest innovations to patients
Gilead’s Frederico Silva has recently joined the Italian affiliate as general manager. A Portuguese national, Silva’s career in the industry spans almost 20 years, many of those years spent at Gilead where he has held roles of increasing responsibility. Following several years in Portugal where he managed the HIV business unit and became its associate director, Silva progressed to become the director of the hepatitis unit in Spain and then moved to Dubai where he headed up the company’s Middle East operations, comprised of 12 countries.
When PharmaBoardroom spoke to Silva in Dubai, he expressed his enthusiasm about effectively bringing Gilead’s breakthrough treatments, like its COVID-19 treatment, Veklury, its Hepatitis C drug, Sovaldi and its single tablet HIV regimen, to the region: “It is extremely exciting to be able to help bring Gilead’s latest innovations to patients as well as support local authorities to advance the healthcare sectors alongside other industry partners.” Silva plans to carry that experience over to his new leadership role in Italy. “I am sincerely honoured to be able to take on the leadership of Gilead Italia and to be able to make the experience gained in recent years at an international level available to this affiliate and its employees,” he said when the new appointment was announced.
Read the full interview with Frederico Silva.
Hubert Puech d’Alissac, Teva
Italy is Europe’s leading producer of medicines. There is a lot of manufacturing capability, capacity, and talent in Italy
Industry veteran and GM of Teva Italy for over 10 years, Hubert Puech d’Alissac, has not stepped down to take on another role, but to retire after a successful career in the industry. Puech d’Alissac began his career four decades ago within the Ibsen group and forged his professional path at companies like Fournier, Synthelabo, Sanofi, UCB and Cephalon, where he became VP of the company’s European pharma operations. His long association with the generics giant began in 2011 and continued until he announced his retirement and Michal Nitka was appointed as the new GM of Teva’s Italy and South East Europe region in August.
PharmaBoardroom interviewed Puech D’Alissac in March of this year when he underlined Italy’s value as a manufacturing hub. “Italy is Europe’s leading producer of medicines. There is a lot of manufacturing capability, capacity, and talent in Italy. This extends from both pharma products to active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).” When speaking about management lessons he had learned over the years, Puech d’Alissac expressed the importance of working with and listening to his teams: “Solutions generally come not from top-down dictates, but from teams themselves.”
Incumbent Michal Nitka is also a long-term Teva veteran and will take on general management of Italy as a part of the cluster that includes SEE, Bulgaria and Greece.
Read the full interview with Hubert Puech d’Alissac.
Marcello Cattani and Massimo Scaccabarozzi, current and former presidents, Farmindustria
The first priority for our industry is to remain the European leader in terms of production
Marcello Cattani, Sanofi’s country lead, president and managing director of Italy and Malta, has become the new president of Italy’s most important pharma industry association, Farmindustria. He will guide the organization up until 2024, following Massimo Scaccabarozzi, who led it from 2011 to 2022.
Over the past twenty years Cattani, who has a scientific background, has held leadership roles in Italy and abroad at several companies, including Bristol Myers Squibb and Sanofi, and comes to the presidency after being one of Farmindustria’s delegates.
In this interview, before the new presidency, Cattani explained to PharmaBoardroom some of the challenges around clinical trials in Italy, something he will perhaps look to address as head of Farmindustria. “While the overall environment is extremely positive, there are still improvements to be made in terms of communicating in a more engaging manner and streamlining some of the bureaucracy around patient enrolment. While Italy is certainly globally competitive in terms of the standards and professional capabilities of its academic, hospitals and research sites, and therefore of the data they generate, it is perhaps less strong in being able to enrol vast patient populations.”
Previous president Massimo Scaccabarozzi and former chairman of Janssen Italia has not only stepped down from his association responsibilities, he has also gone on to become the director of the Menarini Group.
Scaccabarozzi explained the association’s priorities to PharmaBoardroom in this 2022 interview: “The first priority for our industry is to remain the European leader in terms of production, something that was achieved in the last few years thanks to the dedication and quality of our people.”
Read the full interview with Massimo Scaccabarozzi.