The need for medicines no longer just involves immigrants and refugees, but on an increasing scale more people and Italian families. Health poverty is an emergency which needs to be taken into account on a daily basis.
Health expenditure by the Italian State, particularly on medicines, has suffered a sharp decline and is much lower than that of other major European countries. Between 1997 and 2011, seven out of 10 families reduced their expenditure on health care (ISTAT), while the need for medicines by Welfare Charities increased especially with regard to prescription drugs.
The awareness of this situation led to the birth and work of the non-profit Banco Farmaceutico Foundation which not only organizes a National Medicine Collection Day each year, but also provides broader support as needed. Subsequently, its commitment was extended to the recovery of medicines from pharmaceutical companies (now more than thirty companies donate medicines regularly), and to launching in collaboration with those pharmacies which adhere to Banco Farmaceutico an innovative service comprising of the "recovery of unexpired drugs" donated by private individuals.
Banco Farmaceutico is currently present in 94 Italian provinces for the National Medicine Collection Day, but is working towards consolidating and expanding its activities through the structured and continuous contribution of an ever growing number of volunteers and pharmacies to be able to respond more efficiently to the increasing number of requests it receives for medicines from Welfare Organisations.