«In Europe, psychological distress is perceived as one of the main threats to the quality of life», Agnese Cattaneo, chief medical officer of Angelini Pharma, says about a survey – just ended – conducted on a sample of 6,000 non-patient people in six countries, including Italy.
Why did you carry out this research?
«We wanted to investigate the level of awareness in the field of mental health and psychological distress on the one hand, and on the other how the pandemic and social distancing impacted people’s lives».
What did you discover?
«Among the most interesting observations is that in Europe, when you ask which pathological condition worsens the quality of life the most, 46 percent mention cancer and 37 percent psychological disorders, which are mentioned before cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Other data also shows that the impact of psychological distress on the various dimensions of daily life – including sociality aspects – is now recognized».
Did this change with the lockdown?
«The particularity of the situation led to an even greater awareness on the subject. In Italy, United Kingdom and Spain, three Countries hit by the pandemic, over 60 percent of the population interviewed reported experiencing symptoms referable to psychological distress for a period of two weeks».
Is there still a stigma towards people who have this type of condition, and who maybe need drugs?
«Unfortunately yes; although diseases such as depression are very common, there are still preconceptions preventing the optimization of diagnosis and early treatment».
What kind of doctor are you?
«I’m specialized in endocrinology, and I have a staff of about 25 doctors and researchers, dealing with clinical research and scientific communication».
Do your drugs target specific therapeutic areas?
«Yes, the company’s therapeutic areas of focus are central nervous system, pain, rare diseases and the so-called primary care, with products such as Tantum verde, Tachipirina and Amuchina».