Italian Medicines Agency Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco

Use your medicines well. Equivalent medicines benefit everyone (2007)

'Use your medications well. Equivalent medicines benefit everyone'

The first communication campaign promoted by AIFA primarily concerns two issues: equivalent medicines and correct use of medicines. The goal is to foster dissemination of information on these issues and to raise citizens’ awareness on the most correct choices to preserve their health.

The main objectives of the Campaign aim at better explaining the equivalent medicine, underlining its equal efficacy, quality and safety with respect to the corresponding “branded” medicine and highlighting its bioequivalence with respect to the related medicinal specialties. At the same time and more generally, the campaign aims to promote the appropriate use of medicines, both in terms of their prescription and consumption.

The Campaign is targeted at all citizens, with particular reference to women and the elderly, to whom timely messages should be addressed, tailored to their actual information needs.

The activities are designed and implemented in collaboration with some Medical Associations (SIMG, FIMMG), Associations of Pharmacists (FEDERFARMA, ASSOFARM) and Consumers (ALTROCONSUMO, CITTADINANZATTIVA, CODACONS, FEDERCONSUMATORI, FEDERANZIANI, MOVIMENTO CONSUMATORI), each of which, on the basis of its own peculiarities, contributes to enrich the initiatives that will be put in place to reach the largest number of citizens in an effective and widespread manner.

The tools used include drafting information materials (brochures, posters) by the associations of Doctors and Pharmacists, which illustrate the contents of the Campaign, while the Consumer Associations are entrusted with the preparation of two itinerant campers, which will touch the main Italian localities by spreading the messages of the Campaign and organizing local events in which citizens can be directly approached.

Furthermore, in partnership with RAI, information spaces are planned within some broadcasts identified in the programming of TV and radio networks and the broadcasting of three filmed pills. A site dedicated to the campaign is also accessible on the Rainet portal, where the main contents and multimedia material have been made available.


The campaign on equivalent medicines and the correct use of drugs pursues three main macro-objectives:

  • correct the perception of the equivalent as a "minor" drug useful for treating non-specific pathologies and with lower efficacy than "brand" drugs, underlining its bioequivalence with respect to the corresponding medicinal product and its added value as a generator of resources that allow greater access to innovative medicines;
  • inform citizens on the role played by AIFA in guaranteeing quality and safety of equivalent drugs, as well as of all medicines marketed in our country, and on the control activity that the Agency performs during the entire life cycle of the medicine, from production to distribution, to the post-marketing phases;
  • promote the correct use of drugs in order to improve the appropriateness of prescriptions and consumption, and to reduce pharmaceutical expenditure by freeing up precious resources to facilitate access to innovative drugs and orphan drugs for rare diseases.


A further goal is represented by promoting in the public opinion the perception of the solidarity of the National Health System, which makes available free of charge medicines for the treatment of serious and chronic diseases to all citizens. In fact, 70% of the entire pharmaceutical expenditure is borne by the NHS and only the remaining 30% is borne by the citizen who pays out of his own pocket only the drugs for the treatment of minor ailments (such as headache, cold, etc.).

Through the use of a plurality of communication tools and initiatives, the campaign is aimed at all citizens, with particular reference to:


  • to women, as points of reference in the family for the purchase, administration and disposal of medicines;
  • to the elderly, as a segment of the population most exposed to health problems and major users of medicines.

In order to achieve these targets more effectively, the involvement in the campaign of medical doctors and pharmacists is fundamental, due to the direct role they play in the daily interaction with citizens / patients at the time of prescribing and dispensing drugs.

Equally important is the contribution offered by the Consumer Associations which, thanks to their presence rooted locally, ensure the widespread dissemination of the campaign messages at the local level.

Various tools are used to disseminate the contents of the Campaign: from the creation of information materials and the organization of targeted events, to traditional media channels (TV, radio, internet) in partnership with RAI.


The information materials

The promotional materials of the Campaign were produced in collaboration with the medical doctors (SIMG, FIMMG) and the pharmacists (FEDERFARMA). The information leaflet describes, in clear and informative language, all the characteristics of equivalent drugs and offers information on the correct use of medicines. It will be distributed at local and national events and will be available in the offices of general practitioners and in pharmacies, where posters depicting the messages of the Campaign will also be displayed.

Local events

The Consumer Associations (ALTROCONSUMO, CITTADINANZATTIVA, FEDERANZIANI, FEDERCONSUMATORI, MOVIMENTO CONSUMATORI) promote the organization of events at a local level to disseminate the information materials of the Campaign and bring the public closer with seminars and training meetings. In addition, two campers have been set up, which will travel around Italy, stopping in the major Italian towns to hold meetings on the themes of the campaign.

The toll-free number and the AIFA website

For all information and insights and to view the list of equivalent drugs available on the market, you can consult the pages of the site, which will be promptly updated with the materials and news of the Campaign, or call the toll-free number 800 571661. The number it is active from Monday to Friday (excluding holidays) from 10.00 to 13.00 and from 14.00 to 17.00 and is operated by specialists to answer questions raised by citizens and health professionals.

The partnership with RAI

Information spaces dedicated to the Campaign are planned within some broadcasts identified in the schedule of the national television and radio networks as well as the broadcasting of 'Filmed pills'. The programming hosts experts identified by AIFA to explain in detail all the contents of the Campaign during the broadcasts most followed by the target audience, in information programs, as well as in entertainment programs. The multimedia materials of the RAI speeches and talks and the main contents of the campaign are also available on the dedicated website on the Rainet portal.

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