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



From the point of view of Biomedicine, among the “star drugs” of 2023, the first drug based on CRISPR technology, from the North American company Vertex Pharmaceuticals, stands out.

Regarding Global Health, the WHO classifies a new variant of covid which it calls JN.1, which is characterized by its wide spread, although low risk.

Regarding International Health Policy, the New York Times summarizes the measures proposed in the United States to avoid drug shortages in pharmacies, after extensive discussion in Congress. Among the many measures, manufacturing by the government is considered, something that is also being considered in our country.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the news of the week was the appearance of the report on the management of covid, after months of waiting, after the commission in October 2021. The conclusion reflected by the press, which is a summary of the report, is that Spain was not prepared for the pandemic and the success of the vaccination campaign. However, and regardless of the prestige of the selected experts, it could be questionable that they were appointed by the government, compared to the possibility of having institutions (SESPAS, FACME, etc.) to appoint their own experts. Some comments on the report: although it is said that Spain had more mortality than other countries, there are no figures, no tables, nor is it specified which countries we are referring to; insufficient attention is given to the flagrant legal breaches, which led the Constitutional Court to declare the confinements illegal; at no time is there talk of serious problems and corruption in the purchase of materials; mortality among professionals is not quantified or given sufficient importance; although mortality in residences is discussed, the problem is not explained in detail or analyzed and a table comparing mortality in the different autonomous communities is not presented; although the need for the Public Health Agency is insisted upon, it is not specified what that Agency should have so that it would be comparable to others in other countries (Robert Koch, in Germany, for example) and avoid a “watered down” formula, such as which seems to be underway; finally, it is very striking that, among the proposals, there is none related to the production of materials (equipment and medicines) in Spain, precisely to achieve the “extended strategic autonomy”, of which the EU speaks.

In the field of Companies, on an international level, there is a change of leadership in the best-selling drug, Abbie with Humira, passes the baton to Keytruda, from MSD. In terms of national news, Abanca is preparing to launch its own health insurance, which highlights the attractiveness of this market.


Global Health

International health policy

National health policy