ROMA – On paper the roles in the field are clear: scientists and professors provide figures and forecasts, politicians evaluate, balance interests, and make decisions. Too bad it is not so simple, as can be seen from the case of Aifa, the Italian drug agency, which should move on the basis of scientific “truths” but in which there has been a clash that closely resembles a political conflict for months .
Maybe because the president Giorgio Palù is considered close to the League, while the general manager Nicola Magrini is given in quota Roberto Speranza (Leu). Maybe because the Aifa is a body that belongs to the Ministry of Health. The fact is that every decision is the subject of very hard controversy. Even in the hearing in the House on March 18, the conflict between the two was evident. For example, on monoclonal antibodies. Palù, in “Piazza Pulita”, said in a sort of off-air that the responsibility for having slowed down on the experimentation of monoclonals by the American company Lilly was attributable to Magrini. “Maybe because we put 380 million into another Tuscan project?” asks the reporter. Palù does not deny. Aifa makes it known that he was holding back in order not to break the European front. And that the green light for experimentation, after lost four months, was given by politics.
Politics and science
Stopping AstraZeneca, explained Mario Draghi, was not a political decision. On the contrary, AIFA said. In short, politics and science dance together and at every turn they swap places, until the roles are confused. «It is not good for Italy – says the dem Alessandra Carnevali – to think that technical-scientific choices are subordinated to politics. I don’t think that’s the case. ” Nino Cartabellotta from Gimbe explains: «Aifa, like Iss and Agenas, are entities established, supervised and financed by the Ministry of Health. That is, they are three ribs of the ministry, who work autonomously, but cannot be defined as independent ». Deputy Minister Pier Paolo Sileri – former protagonist at «Non è l’Arena» in a very critical episode towards Magrini – describes the two leaders as follows: «Palù is a man of science, he has a very respectable curriculum. Magrini is a director, he has no strong CV ». Sileri is not tender with Magrini: «I wrote to him several times, without getting answers. When Pfizer was approved in England as an emergency, I asked him: why don’t we do the same? He told me it couldn’t. But then, with the monoclonals it was done ». Too many appointments, adds Sileri, “are political”. Magrini was reconfirmed by Speranza. But it is under attack, not just from the right. Tomorrow the governors will give their opinion. Advisory, of course, but a “no” is by no means excluded.
March 23, 2021 (change March 23, 2021 | 21:10)