7 days in healthcare (May 2nd-8th, 2022)



From the point of view of biomedicine, two important editorials in The Economist should be highlighted on wearables (devices to wear, mainly smart watches) and medicalized apps, which could represent a new form of relationship between citizens and the health system and greater involvement of the population in maintaining their own health.

As far as Global Health is concerned, two books stand out, the one by Bill Gates on the pandemic, in which he says, in short, that outbreaks are not avoidable, but pandemics are, and the one by Devi Sridhar on the pandemic in general, commented by The Lancet.

As for international health policy, much of the debate in the international press is centered around the controversy over abortion in the United States, which is dividing American society. Much of the international media speaks out against the reversal of the Roe v Wade ruling, which established abortion as a constitutionally based right in the United States (The Economist, New York Times, Financial Times, Le Monde), although some they do it for (Wall Street Journal). Especially harsh is the article in the New England Journal Medicine, which says that the reversal of this sentence would mean a return to 1973, where women with resources could access an abortion by changing state or country, while the poor had to assume a pregnancy not desired or undergo interventions without guarantee, with high mortality and complications.

If we talk about national health policy (Spain), we must highlight the important editorial in El País on cancer drugs, which try to be introduced despite their high price and poor results in terms of survival. It is also necessary to highlight the “Update of the Stability Program 2022-2025“, where the government puts black on white that it will not fulfill its programmatic promise of reaching 7% of GDP in health in 2023.

In the field of companies, from the international point of view, it is worth noting the dismissal of the head of Biogen, after the controversial introduction of a drug against Alzheimer’s, whose approval by the FDA had already produced a cataclysm in this organism, with deep internal divisions. In the national environment, the important Pfizer document on gene therapies should be highlighted, as well as Quirónsalud’s proposal for a new hospital in Gijón, which could renew the private hospital scene in that region.


Global health

International health policy

  • COVID-19

o In China, the covid-zero policy accentuates the slowdown in the economy (https://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2022/05/06/en-chine-la-politique-zero-covid-accentue -le-slow-down-de-l-economie_6125001_3234.html)

o Deaths from covid worldwide are at their lowest since the start of the pandemic (https://www.elespanol.com/ciencia/salud/20220507/muertes-covid-mundo-situan-minimos-inicio-pandemia/ 670433394_0.html)

  • The great debate on abortion in the United States

o The leak of an exploratory vote in the United States Supreme Court on the abolition of the Roe v Wade judgment (which declared abortion legal throughout the United States), unleashed a great controversy. If Roe v Wade is amended, abortion rights would become an issue for the states, not for the United States as a whole. There would be states in which abortion would be legal, while others would not (https://www.nytimes.com/article/abortion-laws-us.html)

o The most important international media editorialize and publish articles on the subject, such as The Economist (https://www.economist.com/united-states/how-the-end-of-roe-v-wade-will- affect-american-politics/21809130), The New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/06/opinion/roe-v-wade-constitution.html), Financial Times (https:// www.ft.com/content/92042f8d-7954-4ffa-a0f5-b0fae12f7da3), Le Monde (https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2022/05/07/avortement-aux-etats-unis- un-retour-en-arriere-de-la-cour-supreme-serait-l-aboutissement-de-cinquante-ans-de-combat-de-la-droite-religieuse-contre-l-ivg_6125107_3210.html) and The Wall Street Journal (https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-end-of-roe-will-be-good-for-america-supreme-court-draft-leak-decision-abortion-pro-life-choice-justices-alito-11651787057), by cite just a few

o The medical press also speaks out: important article in the New England Journal Medicine, totally against the possible annulment of Roe v Wade (https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2119364)

o The position on abortion in the United States: religion, not gender, is the greatest predictor of position (https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2022/05/07/religion-not-gender -is-the-best-predictor-of-views-on-abortion)

o The debate on abortion in the United States is unsettling in Canada (https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2022/05/05/le-retour-du-debat-sur-l-avortement-aux-etats -unis-restless-le-canada_6124913_3210.html)

o The American corporate world (Corporate America) is silent on the subject (https://www.ft.com/content/b1f32dd2-e01b-4b7f-880d-946d8b0db1ca)

  • Other themes

o The WHO warns that covid has accelerated the obesity pandemic. Proposes taxes on less healthy food and subsidizing fruits and vegetables (https://elpais.com/sociedad/2022-05-03/la-oms-alerta-de-que-el-impacto-del-coronavirus-ha-acelerado -another-epidemic-of-obesity.html)

National health policy


o Contagios in the elderly continue to rise and the deaths are about 70 a day (https://www.lavanguardia.com/vida/20220507/8249221/contagios-mayores-siguen-alza-muertes-continuan-70-diarias.html )

o Seventh wave or new phase of the pandemic? (https://www.epe.es/es/sanidad/20220506/septima-ola-covid-13618507)

  • Regulatory announcements

o List of essential drugs imminently (https://www.redaccionmedica.com/secciones/industria/la-inminente-lista-de-farmacos-de-sanidad-abre-una-nueva-via-de-rebaja-2143 )

o A reform of the Framework Statute is controversially proposed (https://www.redaccionmedica.com/bisturi/union-y-rebelion-sindical-ante-la-reforma-del-estatuto-marco-9760)

  • Other themes

o Important editorial in El País on cancer drugs, their high price and their sometimes minor effects on survival (https://elpais.com/opinion/2022-05-07/el-precio-de-la-salud. html)

o The “Update of the Stability Program 2022-2025“, presented by the Government to Brussels, does not foresee that the government’s promise to reach 7% of GDP in 2023 in public health spending will be fulfilled (https://www. hacienda.gob.es/CDI/Programas%20de%20Estabilidad/Programa-de-Estabilidad-2022-2025.pdf)

o The doctors maintain the strike for May 10, rejecting the Community of Madrid-ICOMEM agreement (https://elpais.com/espana/madrid/2022-05-07/la-encrucijada-final-de-los-medicos -de-madrid.html)

o Order of the Government of Catalonia on unit prices for compensation for hospital and specialized care (https://www.iberley.es/legislacion/orden-slt-88-2022-22-abril-determinan-ano-2022 -unit-prices-consideration-specialized-hospital-care-27084794)

Companies, employers and other agents of the sector

  • International News

o The head of Biogen dismissed due to the failure of the new drug against Alzheimer’s, after detecting that it has unproven benefits and serious health risks (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/03/business/biogen- aduhelm-michel-vounatsos.html)

  • National News

o Pfizer presents in Congress a Decalogue to promote gene therapy (https://www.pfizer.es/sites/default/files/2022-04/TERAPIA%20GENICA%20SNS%20interact%20v1.pdf)

o Quirón intends to build a new hospital in Gijón, with an investment of 40 million and 300 jobs (https://www.plantadoce.com/empresa/quironsalud-inviertera-40-millones-de-euros-en-nuevo-hospital -en-gijon.html)

o Teladoc Health is reinforced in Barcelona and will open a new digital hub in the city (https://www.plantadoce.com/empresa/teladoc-health-se-refuerza-en-barcelona-y-abrira-un-hub-digital -in-the-city.html)

o Vitaldent continues to grow and opens clinics in Pola de Siero, Lugo and Getafe (https://www.eleconomista.es/salud/noticias/11748887/05/22/Vitaldent-abre-tres-nuevas-clinicas-en-Espana. html)

o Besins Healthcare, a company based in Mónica and specialized in novel therapies in gynecology, fertility and endocrinology, lands in Spain and invests 25 million in a plant in Muel (Zaragoza) (https://www.plantadoce.com/empresa/besins -healthcare-lands-in-spain-and-invests-25-million-in-a-plant-in-muel.html)