7 days in healthcare (October 30th-November 5th, 2023)



From the point of view of Biomedicine, the FDA opens the door to the first treatment with CRIPSR gene editing, applied in this case to sickle cell anemia. The “liquid biopsy” seems to be able to detect cancer recurrence before any radiological signs. A change is proposed in the regulation of embryo research. The laws and conventions in force do not allow embryos to be investigated in the laboratory beyond day 14. There is a gap until day 28, when embryos from abortions can already be investigated. This seems to prevent us from knowing many elements of organ development and that is what we are trying to modify. Although it is often assumed that dementia is increasing as the population ages, there appears to already be some evidence that the incidence of dementia is decreasing quite significantly.

As far as Global Health is concerned, the director general of the WHO is alarmed by the indescribable situation in Gaza. Nigeria is preparing to vaccinate 8 million girls with the papillomatosis vaccine, related to cervical cancer.

Regarding International Health Policy, in the United States, despite the prohibition of abortion in some states as a consequence of the Dobbs ruling of the Supreme Court, the abortion rate has not decreased a year after this ruling. The Economist considers how it is possible that doctors in the United States earn so much ($350,000/year on average), coming to the conclusion that it is due to an artificial shortage of doctors, due to the few places in Medical Schools, despite that there is no shortage of candidates. In the United Kingdom, the investigation into covid seems to show the disaster in management during the Boris Johnson period. Bad business, although the case of Spain is worse, where, despite promises, no report on the management of the pandemic has been made public. Health changes are on the horizon in Poland, following the arrival of the new government. Kenya, with 53 million inhabitants, joins the movement of so many other countries to move towards universal health coverage.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the XENOMA project in Galicia is very important, which aims to analyze the DNA of 400,000 Galicians. One of the precedents is the project to analyze the genome of 100,000 Britons, promoted during the David Cameron period and managed by Genomics England. Surely a project of this style should have been promoted at the national level, but it is good that, in the absence of the above, it should be promoted by an autonomous community. Doubts among experts about one of the measures of the PSOE-Sumar agreement on a law to end waiting lists. Without funding, better accounting and prioritization, organizational measures, new incentives and public/private collaboration, no law is capable of solving this problem. After all, a Royal Decree that establishes maximum times for certain procedures has already been in force since 2011, but it is not being complied with. Virtually all autonomous communities are approving increased health budgets for 2024, rising especially in Primary Care. Just because the budgets grow compared to the previous year does not mean that they are higher than the real spending in 2023, which is happening in Madrid, for example. The PSOE-ERC agreement contemplates the transfer of at least 150 million euros/year to Catalonia, for scientific and technical research.

In the field of Companies, on an international level, Google intends to grow in healthcare, based above all on artificial intelligence tools. Regarding the covid vaccine, GSK raises profit forecasts, while Moderna and Pfizer contemplate setbacks. At the national level, Fresenius sells its Quirón business in Peru. The Sant Joan de Deu Hospital in Barcelona creates an artificial intelligence laboratory with Microsoft.


Global Health

International health policy

National health policy






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