7 days in healthcare (September 18th-24th, 2023)



From the point of view of Biomedicine, Nature magazine in an article returns to artificial intelligence as an accelerator of the introduction of new medicines, also making the process less expensive. A second patient is implanted with a genetically modified pig heart. The prospects for transplants with animal organs are opening up more and more. Google (Deep Mind) identifies millions of mutations in proteins capable of generating disease, which will allow a much better understanding of numerous diseases.

Regarding Global Health, article in Science about the eradication of polio, which was a goal for the year 2000, but not yet achieved. Despite the success of vaccination campaigns, polio is still present in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Nature magazine warns of the danger that the pandemic treaty will not be concluded by 2024, as was the objective. The need to make vaccines accessible to everyone in all countries and the protection of intellectual property through patents, in contradiction, hinders progress.

Regarding International Health Policy, JAMA reviews the historic negotiation by Medicare of the price of prescription drugs, exposing the reservations of pharmaceutical companies and the different demands presented by each of them to the American government. Prime Minister Sunak is considering the possibility of banning the use of tobacco for new generations, in a way similar to that implemented in New Zealand. A report from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) states that in the United Kingdom there were 240,000 deaths in the period 2010-2020, which could have been avoided if standards of care on the European average had been applied. This is largely attributed to difficulties in access (in other words, waiting lists).

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), after an attempt at regional rebellion, the Ministry has had to withdraw the measure that provided for vaccination of health workers with the Hipra vaccine, not adapted for the new strains. Although the Ministry has not yet made public the announced report on the management of Covid, commissioned from four well-known experts, a group of prestigious academics has just published a valuable report on healthcare at the post-Covid crossroads. Changes in health are announced in both the Community of Madrid and Valencia. Time will tell if these changes address the real problems or remain cosmetic changes, to which some politicians are so accustomed. In Madrid, the final destination of the Zendal hospital does not seem to be clear, apart from its temporary use as a center for ALS. It is the consequence of building a large center without an adequate functional plan. The valuable EPINE report shows that more than 7,000 deaths occurred each year in Spain as a result of nosocomial infections. The conflict between doctors and health insurers, which began in Seville, threatens to spread to other communities, including Madrid.

In the field of Companies, on an international level, Abbot plans to acquire Bigfoot Biomedical at the end of 2023. On a national level, Novo Nordisk plans to open a technological and digital headquarters in Spain, which, if confirmed, would be excellent news.


Global Health

International health policy

National health policy






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