7 days in healthcare (November 6th-12th, 2023)


From the point of view of Biomedicine, Victor R. Fuchs, a pioneer of health economics and possibly the most recognized and prestigious health economist in the world, dies. He always defended universal health coverage for the United States, although he was very aware of the difficulties of its implementation, due, among other circumstances that he explained, to the heterogeneity of American society. And it must be said that he was not wrong in that. The FDA has just approved an oral drug based on the intestinal microbiome, a new horizon in medicine.

As far as Global Health is concerned, although tuberculosis is preventable and treatable, it continues to be the infectious disease with the most mortality globally, after a short period of time in which it was covid. But 40% of the world’s population with tuberculosis is not treated.

In terms of International Health Policy, it seems that the covid pandemic did not damage developed economies as much as initially thought. This seems to be deduced from studies of initials from the United Kingdom and Italy. The EFPIA, the pharmaceutical industry’s association, continues to complain that the new European legislation could end incentives for innovation and put Europe in an even worse relative position than the one it already has with respect to the USA and China. The OECD has just published “Health at a Glance 2023”, a must-read.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the agreements of the PSOE and Junts (and also those signed with the PNV for the Basque Country and with the BNG for Galicia) contemplate the transfer of powers over the MIR (and in the case of the Basque Country also of the issuance of titles). Some say that constitutional values and democratic principles have been subordinated in the investiture agreements. Obviously, this does not happen with the MIR, but an important value is put at risk: the cohesion of the National Health System, based, among other issues, on the uniformity of the training system and recognition of titles and specialties, being , on the other hand, a highly recognized system. 11 public hospitals appear to be starting a lung cancer screening program. Since this procedure is not recognized in the SNS service portfolio, the innocent question is: who pays for this? Or is it simply a pilot program with special funding? The Community of Madrid proposes a modification of the current Law of Good Government, which required the appointment of managers of health centers by competition and which at the time was approved by broad consensus, to another system that allows the direct appointment of these positions by part of the SERMAS Board of Directors.

In relation to Companies, at the international level, the battle between pharmaceutical companies in relation to obesity continues (the main players are NovoNordisk, Lilly and AstraZeneca). Amazon is relaunching in health, providing health services through One Medical to its premium customers. At the national level, great growth in the 22nd year of dental, ophthalmological and aesthetic clinics. The purchase of the Eugin assisted reproduction clinics from Fresenius by KKR and GED is completed. The latter retains the business in Spain, while KKR will integrate the international business into IVI RMA.


Global Health

International health policy

  • United Kingdom and the National Health Service
  • OECD
    • The OECD publishes “Health at a glance 2023”. Main conclusions: healthcare systems are under severe financial pressure; there has been no complete recovery after covid; unhealthy lifestyles cause millions of deaths; Access barriers persist, despite universal coverage in most OECD countries; the quality of care is improving; digital health has immense potential (https://www.oecd.org/health/health-at-a-glance/)

National health policy