Francesco De Santis and Italfarmaco

Francesco De Santis enters in Italfarmaco in 1981 at the age of 25 and has been covering during his career the different positions of Managing Director, Director of the Board, President of Italfarmaco Spa and is President of Italfarmaco Holding. He has personally driven the foundation and internationalization process of all of the Group’s companies.

"My father lumped his company with that of another family together, whose shares he then took over. He was a pioneer in the 1970s. But ours remains a family business that my brother Claudio and I own today. There are six young people of the third generation that we have trained to become the responsible and future shareholders, as it was our duty."
Francesco De Santis, Corriere Economia, 2021


"Without technological knowledge and training, there is no innovation, which is made up of the indispensable skills to make the most of its full potential... ...Training will play an essential role as a strategic lever to identify new visions, strategies and action plans for citizens and businesses. It is one of the strong points for increasing the professionalism of workers and the competitiveness of a company".


"We have the opportunity to change the paradigm: to make the public research system and businesses truly partners on joint projects, defined and implemented together. We are at a turning point for the Italian R&D&I system. We have for the first time, after so many years, a plan with substantial and certain resources, defined actions, stringent timetables, objectives and goals to be achieved".

Francesco De Santis - Energy, environment and innovation - September 2023


The recipe? "Focusing on high value-added productions, on light factories with a moderate environmental impact thanks to technology" ... "Finally, there is the international vision, mandatory since the birth of a company."

Francesco De Santis, Corriere Economia, 18 January 2021

Statements & Interviews »

Research in pharmaceutical field

"We have become the first pharmaceutical manufacturers in Europe just behind Germany. We were between twelfth and thirteenth place and we have climbed the rankings in twenty years. Now the pharmaceutical industry in Italy is a leader in the EU in production which is worth about 34 billion, of which over 80% is destined for export. We can change by focusing on the value of what we produce, focusing on research and innovation.”
Francesco De Santis, Corriere Economia, 18 gennaio 2021

Statements & Interviews

In search of the future
"The success stories of the industry show how fundamental it is for the Made in Italy to increase the added value of products".
Francesco De Santis, Affari & Finanza, 26 ottobre 2020

Francesco De Santis reconfirmed vice-president with responsibility for Research and Development
The General Council of Confindustria, upon proposal of the designated President Emanuele Orsini, approved the presidency team for the 2024-2028 period.
Il Sole 24 Ore, 19 April 2024
la Repubblica, 19 April 2024

Press Reviews »

Entrepreneurship, social and environmental commitment

"Innovation and research are the real pillars on which to build the development of companies and the country. Italy is full of innovative companies able to participate as protagonists in international value chains. An important message especially for young people… The development and strengthening of industrial supply chains must be one of the central objectives of the national growth strategy to be accelerated also through the National Recovery and Resilience Program ”.
Francesco De Santis, Comunicato Stampa, 11 dicembre 2020

Statements & Interviews

Great attention to women’s health: a mission shared by pharmaceutical companies
"To promote social awareness on the risk factors linked to women’s health (not only on reproductive aspects but also on social roles). To support a female health wise culture and encourage awareness concerning principles of equity and equal opportunity. To stimulate research on the major pathologies concerning women’s universe and their social, political and economical consequences (to increase the value of scientific knowledge and spread appropriate information)..."
Francesco De Santis, Delegate of Farmindustria for Research
L'industria farmaceutica e l'equità di genere, Quaderni della SIF, 2009, vol.17.

Publications »


President of Italfarmaco Holding S.p.A.

Vice Presidente of Confindustria with responsibility for Research and Development for the four-year period 2024-2028.

Vice Presidente of Confindustria with responsibility for Research and Development for the four-year period 2020-2024.

Vice President of Farmindustria since 2013, and previously also for the two-year period 1999-2001.

Vice Chairman of the Control Committee of the Code of Ethics of Farmindustria since 2003.

Chairman of the Control Committee for the Code of Ethics from 2002 to 2003.

Representative of Farmindustria at the General Council of Confindustria for the two-year period 2017-2019.

Member of the Confindustria Research & Development Technical Group in 2017.

Member of the Confindustria Research and Innovation Technology Committee from 2012 to 2014.

Delegate for Farmindustria Research and CRUI Relationships

1989-2005 Member of the Board of Directors of SISF - Società Italiana Scienze Farmaceutiche

1984-1985 Member of The New York Academy of Science

Curriculum »


Italfarmaco, one of the leading Italian pharmaceutical groups, operates in both the pharmaceutical and the fine chemical industries.
The company was founded in Milan in 1938.
The Italfarmaco Group now markets ethical products in Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Russia, Turkey, Chile, Peru, Morocco and also for the subsidiary Chemi SPA in USA and Brazil. Total employees is over 3000 and total turnover exceeds 700 million euros.
Its products, all of which have a high therapeutic content, are mainly used in the cardiovascular, immuno-oncological, gynaecological, dermatological, orthopaedic and neurological areas.
The group owns modern, sophisticated industrial plants at which it manufactures its proprietary drugs to the highest quality standards. The first plant, at which injectables and solid oral drugs are manufactured, is situated in Milan, and a second manufacturing unit, for the production of liquid oral drugs, is located in Madrid.