7 days in healthcare (March 18th-24th, 2024)



From the point of view of Biomedicine, the transplant to a man of a genetically modified pig kidney stands out, a medical milestone that could lead to dialysis being declared obsolete, which would be an extraordinary advance and an improvement in the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of patients, currently dependent on the machine several times a week for their survival. Also notable is the beginning of a clinical trial on a vaccine for tuberculosis. The current BCG vaccine offers protection to infants and young children, but does not protect adults and adolescents from pulmonary tuberculosis. If the results are good, this vaccine can be transformative.

As far as Global Health is concerned, a study warns of serious declines in birth rates globally, which will mean that by 2050 it will fall below population replacement, which will have important social and labor changes.

Regarding International Health Policy, a great paradox in the USA, although abortion is prohibited in 14 states and restricted in many others, in 2023 there were more abortions than ever, many of them non-instrumental and through the abortion pill, already responsible of 60% of abortions. China is facing a population decline, a phenomenon that has already begun. The one-child policy, in force for 36 years, is only one of the causes of this phenomenon. The European Union is advancing in the approval of pharmaceutical legislation, contemplated with reluctance by both the EFPIA and Medicines for Europe (the two large European pharmaceutical associations). The Lancet sees the upcoming European elections as an opportunity to put health policy higher on the EU agenda.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), three important initiatives of the Ministry of Health: anti-smoking plan, modification of the medical guard regime and waiting lists. In all three cases there may be problems due to the powers and regulations of the autonomous communities. From the point of view of the regions, the OPE of Asturias stands out, which brings together 19,000 candidates. Although logically, temporality was and is a serious problem of public healthcare, which needed a solution, the way to do it through macro-OPE’s (consolidating the position in property, and with hegemony of the administrative and union logic, above the professional and autonomy of organizations) does not seem to be the best. This type of mass examination is more reminiscent of previous calls for the “military service”, when it was in force, than the professional selection for complex organizations, in which the professional qualification, the needs of the different organizations, the projects of the services, etc. should be taken into account.

As for Companies, on an international level, China is seen as the large market for anti-obesity drugs. Bayer wants to renew its portfolio, entering into cell and genetic therapies. As for Spain, the CNMV has released its report on Grifols, with several objections to its accounts. Faes Farma is preparing to grow in Latin America. For its part, DKV, the health insurer, wants to concentrate on group insurance.


Global Health

International health policy

National health policy