7 days in healthcare (October 18-24, 2021)


At the international level, the WHO publishes a report on strengthening the resilience of health systems after the covid, betting on primary care and on research and innovation in health systems.

Although the pandemic seems to be in regression in many developed countries (USA, European Union, not in the United Kingdom, with some 50,000 cases a day), it continues to be a serious problem in many other countries: Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Peru, etc. . The failure of the COVAX initiative and the success of India in vaccinating more than 1 billion people are also noted.

The American Democrats, on the verge of failing in their reform on the negotiation of drug prices in the USA. They will continue to pay them at a price of 250% above the average for OECD countries.

At the national level, Spain seems to stabilize at a low risk level in terms of the pandemic, with the beginning of the third dose for those over 70 years of age.

The Amancio Ortega Foundation donates 10 proton therapy machines. The question is whether this donation will not be oversized, considering that the entire United States has 25 of these teams. In any case, welcome.

SEMERGEN’s note on Primary Care reforms is very important, with its proposals to regain the prestige of Primary Care, more funding, a new care model and a change in professional roles with the proposal of the new figure of the “clinical assistant”.

Regarding companies, perhaps underline the statements of Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci, creators of BioNTech, winners of the Princess of Asturias Award 2021, that they are already able to offer, based on mRNA technology, personalized vaccines against cancer very quickly (in 4-6 weeks). The next therapeutic revolution.




  • WHO publishes a report entitled “Building resilience in health systems for universal health coverage and health security during and after the COVID-19 pandemic” with 7 recommendations (WHO, October, 2021)
  • The Biden Administration’s plan to vaccinate children between the ages of 5 and 11 is finalized (NYT, Oct 20 21)
  • The FDA gives the green light to the third doses of Moderna and J&J (FT, 21 Oct 21)
  • The EMA begins to evaluate Pfizer vaccines for children between 5 and 11 years old (El Periódico de España, 18 Oct 21)
  • COVID-19 produces 50,000 cases a day in the UK, as the Prime Minister’s office warns of a troubled winter (The Guardian, 18 Oct 21)
  • Health leaders call for immediate restrictions in the UK (FT, 20 Oct 21)
  • The COVAX program, sponsored by the WHO, continues to cause problems (9.3 vaccines per 100 inhabitants in poor countries; compared to 155 in rich countries, (FT, 23 Oct 21)
  • India exceeds 1 billion people vaccinated, (FT, Oct 21, 21)
  • Peru: more than 200,000 deaths caused by the pandemic. With 6,065 deaths per million, Peru has the highest death rate from covid in the world (Le Monde, 23 Oct 21)
  • The rejection of the vaccine in the Balkans produces a catastrophe in Bulgaria and Romania. In Romania 19,000 cases and 400 deaths per day, out of a population of 19.9 million, only 35% of adults have received both doses of the vaccine (Le Monde, 22 Oct 21)
  • Last Saturday, Russia reached 1,075 deaths in 24 hours. Only 36% of Russians are fully vaccinated (The Guardian, 23 Oct 21)
  • Bolsonaro, accused of crimes against humanity by the Senate of Brazil. (The Economist, 23 Oct 21)
  • Experimental transplantation of the kidney from a pig to a man, apparently with good results, which may open the door to new ways of obtaining organs (NYT, 19 Oct 21)
  • Democrats on the brink of failure in the US on measures to reduce the price of drugs (NYT, Oct 21, 21)
  • WHO estimates 115,000 health workers died from covid, January 2020 to May 2021 (ConSalud, 19 Oct 21)
  • Ebola returns to the Congo once again (La Razón, 17 Oct 21)



• Covid infections in Spain stagnate at the low risk level (El País, 22 Oct 21)• As of this Monday, the communities will be able to start administering the booster dose to those over 70 years of age (El Mundo, 24 Oct 21)• The Interterritorial Council of the National Healthcare System will address this week to review the use of masks at recess (El Mundo, 24 Oct 21)• Spain reaches 90% of the population over 12 years vaccinated with at least one dose of vaccine (El País, 19 Oct 21)

• The Amancio Ortega Foundation donates 280 million to Health to buy ten proton therapy equipment, which will be implemented in 7 autonomous communities: Basque Country (1), Catalonia (2), Galicia (1), Andalusia (2), Community of Madrid ( 2) and the Canary Islands (1) (El Mundo, 19 Oct 21)

• SEMERGEN publishes its ten points for the improvement of Primary Care, in a consensus document (“Family Medicine in the reconstruction of the SNS: proposals for a new model of Primary Care”), signed, among others, by Ana Pastor and José Martínez Olmos (October 21)

• The IDIS Foundation publishes a report on the digital patient experience, which shows that the majority (89%) of private healthcare patients are happy with telemedicine (Diario Médico, Oct 22 21)

• Spain, at the bottom of Europe in palliative care. 80,000 patients die each year in our country without receiving palliative care (ConSalud, 24 Oct 21)

• A Health Ministry report shows a drop in the effectiveness of covid vaccines (La Razón, 22 Oct 21)

• Catalonia confirms five cases of the Delta plus variant of covid (Vozpópuli, 23 Oct 21)

• The PSOE stands out from the abortion reforms and the gender violence law proposed by the Equality Ministry (El Periódico de España, 24 Oct 21)


• Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci, the couple that created the BioNTech vaccine, affirm in Oviedo that they are already capable of offering personalized vaccines against cancer in 4-6 weeks (Diario Médico, 22 Oct 21)• The forecasts of Pfizer and Moderna are to almost double their sales in 2022 (FT, 18 Oct 21)

• FENIN produces an interesting report: “2021 Innovation and Health Report“, in which it analyzes the relative position of Spain and the different communities in health innovation (FENIN, October 21)

• Carlos Rus, new president of the CEOE health commission (PlantaDoce, 20 Oct 21)

• Atrys Health multiplies its sales by five in the first half of 2021 (PlantaDoce, 21 Oct 21)

• The insurance sector donates 3.8 million to the Carlos III Health Institute to investigate covid-19 (PlantaDoce, 18 Oct 21)

• Esteve introduces its first patented drug in the United States (PlantaDoce, Oct 18 21)

• Faes Farma expands in Latin America and opens new offices in Bogotá (PlantaDoce, 19 Oct 21)• Grifols starts up its first plasma center in Egypt (PlantaDoce, 19 Oct 21)• HM and the Camilo José Cela University launch a Health Sciences training project (Acta Sanitaria, 20 Oct 21)

• Muface loses a healthcare provider (Igualatorio de Cantabria, now acquired by AXA), (Medical Office, Oct 22 21)

• Fremman (a private equity) acquires the majority of the shareholding of Palex for 400 million euros (Expansión 20 Oct 21)

• Novartis asks public health for almost 2 million euros for each dose of Zolgensma, a medicine against spinal muscular atrophy (El País, 18 Oct 21)

• Biogen sells only US $ 300,000 of its questioned Alzheimer’s drug (FT, 20 Oct 21)• OHLA closes its divestment plan, with the exit of the Montreal hospital (CincoDías, 20 Oct 21)

• Prisons privatizes (Quirón, Cuenca; Clarís, Burgos) health care in prisons due to the lack of doctors (El Periódico de España, 18 Oct 21)

• Telemedi (a Polish telemedicine company) seeks to expand in Europe through agreements with banks and insurers (CincoDías, 18 Oct 21)

• The French biotechnology company Valneva shoots up 45% in the stock market due to the good results of its vaccine against covid-19 (CincoDías, 18 Oct 21)

This post is also available in: Spanish