7 days in healthcare (February 12th-18th, 2024)


From the point of view of Biomedicine, as is known, most rare diseases have no treatment, although this situation will surely be overcome in the not too distant future. A new drug (prozelimab) against the rare Chaple disease. A trial offers hope that a jab could prevent rheumatoid arthritis, the disease that affects 18 million people globally. Chances of a blood protein test warning about the onset of Alzheimer’s disease up to fifteen years in advance. A new powerful antibiotic (cresomycin), hope for antimicrobial resistance, which globally causes about five million deaths a year.

Regarding Global Health, despite the fact that 2021 marked the 100th anniversary of the appearance of insulin, many diabetes patients still do not have access to it. Important article in the New England Journal Medicine about e-cigarettes. There is sufficient evidence to show that switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes reduces exposure to tobacco toxins, decreases respiratory symptoms, and reverses physiological changes related to cigarette smoking. There is not enough evidence that e-cigarettes are a good method to quit smoking.

In terms of International Health Policy, an unexpected consequence of the ruling of the United States Supreme Court, granting states the possibility of legislating on abortion, what was widely used to prohibit or restrict it: the taking of prescribed abortion pills by telemedicine and received by mail is a safe and effective method, according to a study. The European Commission approves the first gene editing treatment, in this case for beta thalassemia and sickle cell anemia. HERA (Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority) launches the Critical Medicines Alliance. It is said that this Alliance will contribute to changing the way medicines are produced and purchased in Europe.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), there is great commotion in the sector as a result of the statements by Vice President Yolanda Díaz that she is negotiating to introduce in the budgets the modification of the health VAT from 0% to 21%. Regardless of the viability of this proposal, could it be considered whether this is the best way to make policy? Any study on the impact on the sector? Any previous negotiations with the health ecosystem? Although the Ministry of Health usually intervenes little in economic matters – remember that all the cuts during the financial crisis were not even discussed in the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System – this is a major issue that well deserves a position. and an analysis by the Ministry of Health. Asturias regulates financial compensation to professionals (442 euros for four hours of surgical activity and half for consultations for doctors) for extension of working hours to address the serious problem of waiting lists. Family doctors report a deficit of 2,600 professionals in the next year. As a consequence of the European Plan against Cancer, the launch of the first nine Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Spain is announced. The project is led in Spain by the Vall d’Hebron Hospital and the National Institute of Oncology.

As for Companies, on an international level, the British consulting firm Clarivate analyzes the 13 disruptive drugs for 2024. Oncology drugs predominate, although there is also the vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus and a new drug against COPD. At the national level, the growth of the egg freezing business in Spain is confirmed. It seems that the HIPRA vaccine is going to end up in the trash. There is nothing special, since failures are inherent to business, especially in an area as difficult as biotechnology. However, some excessively triumphalist government demonstrations could have been avoided.


Global Health

International health policy

  • United Kingdom and the National Health Service

National health policy


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