From the point of view of Biomedicine, to highlight the results of the devices that read the brain and allow certain people to speak using their thoughts. In September the Human Brain Project will be presented, the most ambitious research project financed by the European Union. The British NICE recommends stool tests to be carried out at home for colorectal cancer screening.
As regards Global Health, the journal Science analyzes how climate change can amplify epidemics and give rise to new pandemics.
Regarding International Health Policy, important developments in the USA: the CDC establishes new standards for the approach to sepsis in hospitals; large increase in sex change surgeries in recent years; AstraZeneca is suing the American government for its plans to negotiate the price of medicines, which reflects the great tension between the pharmaceutical industry and the American government, which next week will reveal the 10 medicines on which the price is going to be negotiated; and, a large increase in mental health spending after the pandemic, something that is not expected to change. The British Nuffield Trust analyze the income of English doctors in the various categories. The WHO launches an interesting digital health initiative.
If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the Ministry of Public Health publish in the BOE the call for specialized health training with places for doctors, pharmacists, nurses, psychologists, chemists, biologists and physicists. The Ministry also publishes a very complete analysis on the relevance of lung cancer screening. Although it has been said that the Ministry refuses to implement this screening, the truth is that it has limited itself to publishing the report, which will be analyzed by the Interterritorial Council. In Europe there is no public system that has programs of this type in place. The positions of the Scientific Societies must be heard, but they are not the only ones to consider, taking into account that these Societies usually support everything that favors the activity of the respective specialty. But in these types of decisions, many circumstances must be weighed, including cost/effectiveness. Important confrontation between doctors and health insurers in Seville, which will take place throughout September. Some complaints from physicians have been made public in relation to the SELENE computer program, which is widely implemented in the hospital public sector. A subject on which it is difficult to pronounce, but clearly to follow, due to its importance. Having a user-friendly, fast computer application with innovative features is essential for medical practice.
In the field of Companies, internationally, it seems that Roche and MSD will lead the billing of pharmaceutical companies in the next five years. As far as national news is concerned, Europe is not opposed for competition reasons to the agreement between Esteve and Lubea.
- Nature magazine reports on how brain-reading devices allow people to speak using their thoughts. The experience was carried out simultaneously by two groups: one from Stanford and the other from the University of California, San Francisco (https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-023-02682-7#:~:text=Two%20studies%20report%20considerable%20improvements,with%20facial%20paralysis%20to%20communicate.&text=Brain%2Dreading%20implants%20enhanced%20using,with%20unprecedented%20accuracy%20and%20speed.)
- Improvement of dialysis techniques through hemodiafiltration, which gives better results than traditional hemodialysis (https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe2307709)
- The Human Brain Project is presented in September, after a cost of 600 million dollars, ten years and the efforts of more than 500 scientists. The most ambitious research project undertaken by the European Union (https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-023-02600-x.pdf)
- Scientists hope that weight loss drugs may also be useful in cases of addiction and dementia, still in the very early stages of discovery (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/aug/21/scientists-hope-weight-loss-drugs-treat-addiction-dementia-ozempic-wegovy#:~:text=Scientists%20hope%20weight%2Dloss%20drugs%20could%20treat%20addiction%20and%20dementia,-Medications%20with%20semaglutide&text)
- NICE calls for routine home stool tests for colorectal cancer screening (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/aug/24/nice-at-home-faeces-tests-bowel-cancer-colorectal-nhs-waiting-times-colonoscopy#:~:text=Using%20at%2Dhome%20tests%20“could,a%20colonoscopy%20if%20symptoms%20persisted.)
- It is discussed (Science) whether climate change will amplify epidemics and lead to new pandemics (https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adk4500#:~:text=However%2C%20there%20is%20overwhelming%20evidence,diseases%2C%20both%20directly%20and%20indirectly.)
- Problems for universal coverage in Mexico: political polarization, political instability and the consequences of the pandemic (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(23)00777-8/fulltext )
- The need to strengthen the voice of Africa in the Global Health movements (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(23)01574-X/fulltext)
International Health Policy
- Weekly covid report published by WHO, August 25, 2023. Three of the five WHO regions showed an increase in the number of cases, while the other two had decreases. In the European region the number of cases grew, while deaths decreased (https://reliefweb.int/report/world/covid-19-weekly-epidemiological-update-edition-157-published-25-august-2023)
- EG.5 and BA.2.86, the new covid variants in the WHO’s spotlight (https://www.elmundo.es/ciencia-y-salud/salud/2023/08/25/64e764d821efa075208b4577.html)
- The CDC establishes new standards for hospitals to combat the problem of sepsis, responsible for 1.7 million admissions a year, of which about 350,000 die. Best practices in the management of sepsis are explored (https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/24/health/sepsis-hospitals-cdc.html)
- Sex change surgeries tripled in the US between 2016 and 2019, according to a report by JAMA Network Open. According to this study, 48,000 people underwent surgery between 2016 and 2019, with breast and genital surgery being the most frequent (https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/23/health/transgender-surgery.html).
- AstraZeneca (the Swedish-British company) sues the American government for the new plans to negotiate the price of drugs in Medicare. Said lawsuit was preceded by that of other pharmaceutical companies, such as Merck, BMS and J&J. The process is expected to start next week, when the 10 drugs that will be negotiated this year will be announced (https://www.ft.com/content/1be1ec43-7464-4cab-998f-06db633e2b87)
- Mental health spending increased after the pandemic. Great rise of telemedicine. The trend is not expected to change with the end of the pandemic (https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/25/health/mental-health-spending.html#:~:text=From%20March%202020%20to%20August,in%20the%20use%20of%20telehealth.)
- According to a CDC report, one in five women feel mistreated during the pregnancy process (https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/22/health/pregnancy-mistreatment-health-care.html)
- China concerned about corruption in healthcare following bribery of doctors, especially by pharmaceutical and medtech companies (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(23)01785-3/fulltext#:~:text=A%20wave%20of%20investigations%20are,and%20show%20their%20health%20codes.)
- United Kingdom and National Health Service
- The Nuffield Trust publishes a study on the earnings of doctors in England (https://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/resource/exploring-the-earnings-of-nhs-doctors-in-england#:~:text=For%20junior%20doctors%2C%20basic%20pay,their%20training%20(Table%201).)
- Consultants (senior hospital doctors) will go on strike for three days in October (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2023/aug/24/nhs-consultants-in-england-to-strike-for-further-three-days-in-october#:~:text=The%20British%20Medical%20Association%20announced,48%2Dhour%20strike%20on%20Thursday.)
- The WHO launches an initiative on digital health. To access the executive summary of the initiative: https://www.who.int/initiatives/global-initiative-on-digital-health
- The new scientific director of the WHO demands greater international collaboration against dangerous pathogens (https://www.ft.com/content/91ab571b-d487-4210-af18-8aa2af1da7d5)
National health policy
- The sale of antigen tests increased by 278% compared to June (https://elglobal.es/farmacia/la-venta-de-test-de-antigenos-se-incrementa-un-278-respecto-a-June/#:~:text=The%20demand%20of%20test%20of,7%20to%2013%20of%20August.)
- Health professions
- The Ministry publishes in the BOE the call for specialized health training places for 2024 (doctors, pharmacists, nurses, psychologists, chemists, biologists, physicists), a total of 11,607 places. The tests will be on January 24, 2024 (https://diariofarma.com/2023/08/24/el-ministerio-de-sanidad-publica-la-nueva-oferta-de-formacion-sanitaria-especializada). For access to the text of the BOE: https://www.boe.es/diario_boe/txt.php?id=BOE-A-2023-18623
- Raised lung cancer screening
- The Ministry of Health presents a wide and comprehensive document on the relevance of lung cancer screening for analysis by the Interterritorial Council. The report has been prepared by the Spanish Network of Evaluation Agencies, the Government of the Canary Islands and the Galician Agency for Health Knowledge. To access the report: https://www3.gobiernodecanarias.org/sanidad/scs/contenidoGenerico.jsp?idDocument=8a8fe0a4-262e-11ee-b43e-4dadc3b49bbd&idCarpeta=df4c5b0a-acc9-11dd-bcc2-dd39af5a7493
- Private healthcare
- Medical doctors of private healthcare in Seville will stop working with various insurers in September (https://theobjective.com/sanidad/2023-08-24/sanidad-privada-sevilla-aseguradoras-seguros-salud/#:~:text=La%20private%20health%20of%20Seville%20willstop%20of%20working%20with%20several%20insurers%20in%20September,-The%20doctors%20ask&text=The%20doctor)
- Health tourism
- Spain loses strength in health tourism. During the past year, 39,000 tourists traveled to Spain with health as the main reason for the trip, compared to 56,000 in 2019, before the covid (https://www.epe.es/es/sanidad/20230826/turismo-sanitario-spain-turkey-fertility-reproduction-91265111)
- Spain is the European capital for egg donation, the largest provider of eggs in the entire continent. In Spain, any woman or man, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation or age, can access these treatments (https://elpais.com/salud-y-bienestar/2023-08-21/espana-es-la-capital-European-of-the-donation-of-ovules-this-is-to-be-a-donor.html#:~:text=In%20Spain%20they%20carry%20a%20private%20treatment%20of%20fertility.)
- Problems with the software in the public sector
- Problems with the Selene computer program, widely implemented in the public sector, which is used by 67 of the 468 public hospitals in Spain. The solution was developed by Siemens, later acquired in 2014 by Cerner and then in 2020 by the German DGM Clinical (https://www.elconfidencial.com/tecnologia/2023-08-25/selene-informatica-hospitales-hcis-sanidad_3721964 /#:~:text=Her%20name%20Selene%20and%20is,assign%20beds%20to%20prescribe%20medication.)
- Mental health
- The IDIS Foundation publishes a report on Mental Health, which shows, apart from the national deficiencies in this care, that a high percentage of mental health resources are in the private sector (https://www.fundacionidis.com/reports/other-reports/approach-to-mental-health-in-spain)
- International News
- Roche and MSD will lead pharmaceutical billing in the next five years. Pfizer will lose a third of its income and Lilly and Novonordisk join the top ten (https://www.eleconomista.es/salud/noticias/12416308/08/23/roche-y-msd-lideraran-la-facturacion-pharmaceutical-in-the-next-fiveyears.html)
- A medicine against lung cancer will be the most sold medicine in the world: Keytruda from Merck MSD (https://theobjective.com/economia/2023-08-25/medicamento-cancer-farmaco-ventas-mundo/)
- Pharmaceuticals prepare new covid vaccines for the fall due to the collapse in their sales (https://theobjective.com/sanidad/2023-08-22/farmaceuticas-nuevas-vacunas-covid/#)
- National News
- Europe does not oppose the agreement between Esteve and Lubea (https://www.redaccionmedica.com/secciones/industria/europa-da-luz-verde-al-acuerdo-esteve-lubea-al-no-ver-riesgo- de-monopoly-2893)