7 days in healthcare (November 29-December 5, 2021)



From the international point of view, it is worth highlighting the beginning of the work of the WHO for the approval of a Treaty on pandemics. It seems that the alarm about the new “‘ ómicron “variant is lowered, after the WHO announcement that there had been no case of death. We must be attentive to the program of the new German coalition government, and its impact on the health system. It seems that its actions are concentrated in the pharmaceutical sector. The failure, for various reasons, of the COVAX platform for immunization of low- and middle-income countries is confirmed.

At the national level, the growth of COVID continues to figures that are already beginning to be worrying, despite the advantage over other European countries. The council of ministers approves the Mental Health Strategy, a plan that, unlike the one approved a few years ago on Primary Care, does have funding, despite having aroused reservations among experts. The council of ministers also approves the PERTE for health. As of December 13, the vaccines for children will be available.

Regarding companies, it should be noted that both Pfizer and Moderna are preparing to adapt their vaccines to the new COVID variant.




  • The WHO agrees on December 1, 2021 to begin negotiating an international agreement on how countries should prevent, prepare for and react to pandemics. The agreement is to hold a meeting before March 1, 2022 and discuss a draft before August 1, 2022 (British Medical Journal, Dec 2, 21)
  • A law to introduce dental care in Medicare is discussed in the American Congress (NEJM, 2 Dec 21)
  • An article is published that compares the evolution and behavior in 24 months of a large number of people from the Veterans Administration vaccinated with Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech (NEJM, Dec 1 21)
  • The need for the health sector to contribute to decarbonization continues to be present (NEJM, Dec 2 21)
  • The WHO warns of a high risk due to the new “omicron” variant (FT Nov 29, 21)
  • WHO says there have been no deaths from the new “omicron” variant, despite its expansion (The Guardian, 4 Dec 21)
  • The “ómicron” variant, with a wide worldwide diffusion: apart from its origin in South Africa, and the expansion to 11 European countries, also present in Canada, Brazil, Australia and Saudi Arabia, among others (CNN Español, Dec 1 21)
  • Van der Leyden calls to discuss the mandatory nature of the vaccine (FT, Dec 1 21)
  • Analysts say that the economic impact of the “omicron” variant will not be important (FT, Nov 29, 21)
  • The program of the new German coalition government has an impact on the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector. Most important measures: price containment in medicines, push for healthcare digitization and use of medical data for research (Covington, Nov 29 21)
  • Biden rules out a new lockdown to tackle the new “omicron” variant (FT, Nov 29, 21)
  • The United Kingdom urgently calls a meeting of the G7 to discuss the problem of the new variant (La Razón, 28 Nov 21)
  • The new variant presents more than 50 mutations over the original from Wuhan (La Razón, Nov 29, 21)
  • COVAX has only distributed 26% of the promised covid vaccines for 2021. The most unanimous explanation is that rich countries have monopolized the market (El Español, Dec 4, 21)
  • The EMA would need three to four months to approve vaccines if they have to be modified by “omicron” (El Confidencial, Nov 30, 21)
  • Europe steps on the accelerator with the third doses in full uncertainty for the new variant (eldiario.es, Nov 29, 21)
  • The lack of vaccines, logistical limitations and the rejection of part of the population hinder immunization in Africa (El País, 28 Nov 21)
  • Germany imposes a de facto confinement to the unvaccinated: leisure and commerce will be banned (El País, 2 Dec 21)
  • Agreement between the Council and the European Parliament to strengthen the role of the ECDC (El Global, 30 Nov 21)



  • COVID cases continue to rise, reaching an AI (cases per 100,000 in the last 14 days) of almost 250 (El Confidencial, Dec 3, 21)
  • Health advises limiting participants in social events during Christmas after the advance of COVID (La Razón 1 Dec 21)
  • The government does not have a “legal plan B” before the “omicron”, it trusts everything to vaccination and rejects restrictions that could affect the economy (La Razón, Dec 1 21)
  • The Government defends the need for an International Treaty on Pandemics, as stated by Minister Darias during the Extraordinary Assembly of the WHO in Geneva (ConSalud, 29 Nov 21)
  • The Council of Ministers approves the Mental Health Strategy 2022-2026, the last was of 2009. It is criticized by experts (Spanish Society of Psychiatry, Spanish Society of Dual Pathology) for its lack of ambition, although the effort of consensus. Among the criticisms is the lack of standards such as professional ratios, number of beds in children’s and adolescent hospitals, waiting lists, etc. It has financing of 100 million euros for the next three years, 30 million for 2022. Intervention in the workplace, the approach to suicide and the gender perspective, among the novelties of this Strategy (El Mundo, Dec 4, 21)
  • The council of ministers officially approves the PERTE for health. Investment of more than 1,400 million euros, between 2021 and 2023. These investment agendas are articulated through tenders, the creation of an investment, development and innovation (R + D + i) structure for advanced online therapies, launch of a public-private investment vehicle in advanced therapies (public-private commercial company) with the participation of companies with production capacity in Spain, elements of early coordination and identification of capacities and needs of the National Health System, public procurement innovative and pre-commercial, agreements with communities, private initiatives and co-programmed projects and public tenders (PlantaDoce, Nov 30 21)
  • The Interterritorial Council of December 2 addresses the Royal Decree of Specialties, so that it is approved before the end of 2021. It contemplates approving new specialties and reviewing access to specific training areas (ConSalud, Nov 30, 21)
  • Pfizer vaccines for children, available from December 13 (ConSalud, Dec 1 21)
  • AESEG presents a report “The sector of generic drugs in the economic and social reconstruction of Spain”, in which it advocates a differential price of generics in relation to brands (AESEG, Dec 1 21)



  • Continuity of care, interoperability, innovation and the promotion of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), among the objectives of the IDIS Foundation for 2022 (ConSalud, 2 Dec 21)
  • Teladoc Health grows 81% in the third quarter (PlantaDoce, Dec 1 21)
  • Pfizer and Moderna are preparing to adapt their vaccines to the new “omicron” variant (El Global, Nov 29, 29)
  • Merck’s COVID Treatment (Molnupiravir), Endorsed by FDA (NYT, Nov 30 21)
  • HM Hospitales will have a new space of 1,000 square meters in Valdedebas (PlantaDoce, Nov 30, 21)
  • HIPRA relies on its covid vaccine to grow 13% in 2021 (PlantaDoce, Dec 1 21)
  • The major private equity companies (CVC, Advent, Cinven, PAI, KKR,…) prepare offers for around 1,500 million for IVI (CincoDías, Nov 30, 21)

7 days in healthcare (22-28 November, 2021)



From the international point of view, the most outstanding thing is the great impact produced by the new variant of COVID called “omicron” and which originated in South Africa. Both the stock markets and the price of oil have collapsed and countries have established measures on flights from those countries, which does not prevent cases of the new strain having already been detected in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic and possibly Holland and Denmark. Globally, there is the impression that there has been a major failure of global vaccination, especially in low-income countries, which is providing a breeding ground for the emergence of new strains. As for the contagiousness and lethality of the new strain, it is not yet known.

At the national level, the growth of the pandemic continues (the figure of 171 cases per 100,000 inhabitants has been reached). Some communities have imposed COVID passports. but that is a legal chaos, in the absence of common guidelines.

As for companies, vaccine manufacturers have started a race to test their vaccine against the new strain. If a new vaccine is required, it is said that it would be ready in 100 days.


  • The stock market and the price of oil sink, in the face of the new variant of the coronavirus (FT, 26 Nov 21)
  • The new variant “omicron”, “of concern”, says the WHO (FT, Nov 26, 21)
  • Scientists warn of the new “omicron” variant of the coronavirus, with a large number of mutations (The Guardian, 24 Nov 21)
  • With three out of every 100 people vaccinated in some poor countries, the world situation is considered to be a powder keg and a breeding ground for new variants (El País, 28 Nov 21)
  • Rich countries could have avoided the crisis of the new variant, experts say (The Guardian, 26 Nov 21)
  • The WHO warns that before March 1, 700,000 more people could die in Europe from COVID (ABC, 23 Nov 21)
  • The growing phenomenon of “Virtual First” Primary Care grows in the USA. United Health, Humana, Aetna and many other insurers have already introduced it (JAMA, Nov 22 21)
  • Following the case of Belgium, new cases with the new “omicron” variant have been detected in the UK, Germany, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic and possibly the Netherlands and Denmark (The Guardian, Nov 28, 21)
  • Portugal will impose a confinement after Christmas (El Mundo, 25 Nov 21)
  • The EMA approves the COVID vaccine for children between 5 and 11 years old (El Confidencial, 25 Nov 21)
  • German army planes transport COVID patients to decongest the ICUs (El País, 26 Nov 21)
  • Merkel warns that the crisis is “dramatic” and that current measures “will not be enough” (El País, 22 Nov 21)
  • The European Parliament requires countries to donate more vaccines to COVAX (La Vanguardia, 25 Nov 21)
  • Tobacco control works slowly globally. In 2021 there were an estimated 1.3 billion smokers worldwide, compared to 1.320 in 2015. Only a fraction of countries adopted the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) (Lancet, 27 Nov 21)
  • An international treaty on pandemics is proposed at the next WHO World Assembly, which will take place between Nov 29 and Dec 1, 21. It is estimated that the current mechanisms are not sufficient to control the pandemic. A framework agreement is wanted, such as the tobacco one (Lancet, Nov 27 21)
  • The vaccination of children, necessary. In the USA when the pandemic began in 2020, infected children were 3% of cases, now they are in 25% (Science, 18 Nov 21)
  • Green light from the European Parliament to the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe (daily newspaper, Nov 24 21)


  • The new variant of COVID puts the economic recovery in check (CincoDías, 27 Nov 21)
  • The new variant scares the Spanish Stock Market, which falls 5% and loses 28,000 million (CincoDías, Expansión 27 Nov 21)
  • In Spain, COVID is growing rapidly and reaches 171 cases per 100,000 inhabitants (La Razón, Nov 26, 21)
  • Three indicators anticipate an explosion of infections in Spain (Rt or contagion rate, the incidence of cases diagnosed in the last 7 days, positive diagnostic tests) (La Razón, Nov 22, 21)
  • Health challenges communities to vaccinate with booster doses before Christmas to 16 million people, those over 60 years old (ABC, 24 Nov 21)
  • Galicia, Aragon, Balearic Islands, Murcia, Catalonia and Navarra already have the judicial endorsement to impose the COVID passport (eldiario.es, Nov 26 21)
  • Legal chaos with COVID passports due to the lack of common guidelines (El Mundo, 23 Nov 21)
  • Those not vaccinated against COVID have a 25 times higher risk of death in Spain (La Razón 24 Nov 21)
  • Vaccination is encouraged in Spain, after the increase in incidence and the possible imposition of the COVID passport (El País, 25 Nov 21)
  • The communities pressure Sánchez to address the covid fund in the next President’s conference (January, La Palma), which the government rejects (El Mundo, Nov 26, 21)
  • Health will approve the Mental Health Strategy on December 2 (ConSalud, Nov 26, 21)


  • Vaccine manufacturers start a race to test their vaccine against the new variant (FT, Nov 26 21)
  • The vaccine against the new variant “omicron” will be ready in 100 days (ABC, 26 Nov 21)
  • An American jury finds that the pharmacy chains CVS, Walgreens and Walmart triggered the serious opioid crisis (NYT, 23 Nov 21)
  • Novavax expects to be approved as the fourth vaccine in the UK (The Guardian, 24 Nov 21)
  • Merck recognizes that its antiviral against COVID is less effective than it first thought (FT, 26 Nov 21)
  • Rise of private healthcare, policy record (El Debate, Nov 24 21)
  • The pandemic precipitates a “low cost” health insurance race with policies of up to 8 euros for young people (infolibre, 22 Nov 21)
  • The Swiss Vifor buys the Balearic Sanifit in the largest operation of a Spanish “biotech” (CincoDías, 22 Nov 21)
  • KKR wants to bypass the IVI auction and acquire the company for 1.8 billion (El Periódico de España, 23 Nov 21)
  • Almirall wants to be the new European leader in medical dermatology (Expansión, 27 Nov 21)
  • Fresenius grows in Latin America with the purchase of two centers in Colombia (PlantaDoce, 22 Nov 21)

7 days in healthcare (15-21 November, 2021)



From the international point of view, the plan of the American Democrats to negotiate the price of medicines and its possible impact on innovation continues to be discussed; Europe is once again the engine of the pandemic, with demonstrations in some European cities against confinements and COVID passport measures; and finally, the United States reach a peak in mortality from opioid as the covid pandemic continues.

At the national level, four elements of interest: 1. Spain exceeds 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, although the situation is worrying, nothing to do with that of other European countries; 2. The state-of-the-art health PERTE is presented, doubts regarding its reformist impact; 3. Publication of the draft law that aims to consolidate the universality and equity of our National Health System; 4. The waiting lists are published as of June 30, 2021.

In terms of company news, perhaps most relevant is that both Merck and Pfizer’s COVID therapies will be available in generics for low- and middle-income countries.


  • Request for action in Afghanistan, given the food emergency, by the director of the World Food Program. Disaster is the consequence of conflict, economic collapse and drought (The Lancet, Nov 20 21)
  • Intense debate in the USA about the consequences for pharmaceutical innovation of the regulatory framework on the price of drugs that the Biden Administration wants to approve (NEJM, Nov 18, 21)
  • Democrats in the USA have a plan to reduce the price of drugs, without harming innovation (The Economist, Nov 20 21)
  • A year after the decision of the British NHS to move towards zero carbon emissions by the health system, another 13 countries, including Spain, have joined this approach, which entails important changes, especially in supply chains (The Lancet, Nov 17 21)
  • Europe is once again the engine of the pandemic, with the extremely worrying situation in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hungary, Romania and Russia, among others (Le Monde, 17 Nov 21)
  • Austria returns to lockdown (The Guardian, Nov 18 21)
  • Thousands of people protest in Vienna against confinement and mandatory vaccination (El País, 20 Nov 21)
  • Germany tightens restrictions on the unvaccinated and will force health workers and nursing home workers to be vaccinated (El País, 18 Nov 21)
  • Bavaria cancels Christmas markets, given the growth of the pandemic (The Guardian, 19 Nov 21)
  • The third dose can be extended to all adults, says British Health Minister Sajid Javid (The Guardian,
  • The majority of the European population, in favor of COVID passports (The Guardian, 19 Nov 21)
  • The use of masks reduces the incidence by 53%, according to an international study published in the British Medical Journal (The Guardian, 18 Nov 21)
  • In the USA, mortality from opioid overdose reaches record growth, while the pandemic continues (NYT, Nov 17, 21)
  • Fauci says the pandemic may be under control in 2022, with more third doses (The Guardian, Nov 17, 21)
  • Europe will prioritize the local manufacture of drugs to gain autonomy. This coming week the new EU pharmaceutical strategy will be approved (El Economista 21 Nov 21)


  • Spain exceeds 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants for the first time in two months (El País, 18 Nov 21). Comment: although the situation is worrying, it has nothing to do, however serious, with that of other parts of Europe. It seems that the high immunization, the fifth wave and the high percentage of vaccination are at the origin of this situation. However, we do not know if this differential is going to be maintained or we are heading towards a situation similar to that of most of the rest of Europe.
  • The autonomous communities denounce that they once again lack legal tools in the face of another wave of the pandemic (El Mundo, Nov 21, 21)
  • The state-of-the-art health PERTE is presented, which entails 1,489 million investment until 2023 (diariofarma, 15 Nov 21). Comment: there is no transformation in the sense of reforming the health system (which they consider good) and it is an investment aimed at the biotechnology industry. Mentions of primary care are imprecise. In summary: facing the transformation of the health system and to what extent European funds can help, including digitization, is an issue that remains to be seen
  • Published the Draft Law that modifies various regulations to consolidate equity, universality and cohesion of the National Health System, which seeks to prevent co-payments and promote direct management (Diario Médico, Nov 16 21)
  • Waiting lists published as of June 30, 2021: 121 days on average to undergo surgery and 75 days to visit a specialist. 661,162 people, waiting for an intervention. The lists are close to those in 2019 (La Vanguardia, Nov 26 21)
  • ASPE offers its collaboration to end the waiting lists (Medical Redaction, Nov 18 21)
  • Summer-22 is set as the limit to reform the Framework Statute in the summer of 2022, for which it is announced that there will be minor changes to adapt to the Basic Statute of Public Employees and the labour conditions of residents (Diario Médico, Nov 18, 21)
  • The Public Health Center will go to the Council of Ministers soon (Consalud, 19 Nov 21)


  • Pfizer’s anticovid pill will be sold as a generic drug in 95 low- and middle-income countries, mainly in Africa and Asia, although the agreement excludes some countries hit hard by the pandemic. Previously, Merck had announced something similar (NYT, Nov 16 21)
  • European regulators, with serious doubts about Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug (FT, Nov 17 21)
  • DKV remains in the MUFACE system (company declarations)
  • The EMA launches the emergency authorization process for the NOVAVAX vaccine, which would be the first vaccine with recombinant proteins developed in the European Union (Expansión, 18 Nov 21)
  • Quirónsalud launches two new phase I clinical trial units in Madrid and Barcelona, ​​following an agreement with Next Oncology (Diario Médico, 19 Nov 21)
  • Prim improves its profit by 90% in the first nine months of the year, to 12 million (PlantaDoce, Nov 15, 21)
  • Moderna appoints new general manager for Spain and Portugal, Juan Carlos Gil (PlantaDoce, Nov 16 21)
  • Miranza expands its presence in the Basque Country and opens a new center in Bilbao (PlantaDoce, 15 Nov 21)
  • The German biotechnology company CureVac will begin second-generation vaccine trials (ConSalud, 19 Nov 21)
  • Rovi expects to reach growth forecasts for 2023 this year (CincoDías, Nov 16, 21)
  • Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna expect to bill 62,000 million euros in 2021 with their vaccines (CincoDías, 15 Nov 21)
  • The Spanish HIPRA vaccine will prove its effectiveness as a booster injection for Pfizer vaccinated (Expansión, 16 Nov 21)
  • USA will pay 4,650 million euros to Pfizer for 10 million anti-covid treatments (CincoDías, Nov 18, 21)
  • Almirall collapses on the stock market, after losing 40 million euros (Expansión, 15 Nov 21)

7 days in healthcare (8-14 November, 2021)




From an international point of view, the appearance of two new drugs for COVID (Merck and Pfizer) is considered a milestone in the evolution of the pandemic. Both drugs are small molecule, easy to produce, and for oral use. The other great milestone of the pandemic was, at the time, the appearance of vaccines. Especially worrying are the high numbers of COVID in Europe, especially in the United Kingdom, Ireland, but also Germany and the Netherlands, without forgetting the special situation due to its seriousness in Romania and Bulgaria.

From the national point of view, the announced draft bill on Equity, Universality and Cohesion of the SNS is of great interest. Although the text of the preliminary draft is not known at the time of writing this note, from what was announced it could be said that the positive aspect is universality (provided that universality is not identified with equity) and the negative are the possible repeal of Law 15 / 97, on enabling new forms of management in the National Health System, the imposition of direct management compared to other more flexible forms of management and bad messages regarding co-payments. It seems that he wants to transfer the idea that “privatization” and “copayments” are the problems of the sector, which is absurd.

Regarding companies, the disappearance of large industrial business conglomerates, such as J&J and GE, is striking. It should be noted that in both operations one of the bets is health. This contrasts, instead, with the creation of tech giants (Google, Amazon, Apple, etc.).




  • The Economist forecast: COVID will most likely disappear by 2022. Success: vaccines and new drugs. Failure: immunity at terrible cost, 16.5 million deaths worldwide (The Economist, 8 Nov 21)
  • The Economist welcomes the extension of “assisted death” as a new and important right, started in 1995 in Australia and already legal in a dozen countries, most recently Portugal. It is not yet legal in the UK, but Parliament is discussing a law on the subject. In the Netherlands, 4% of deaths are assisted (The Economist, 13 Nov 21)
  • The new anti-COVID drugs represent a significant change in the pandemic (the first notable change was that of vaccines). The new drugs are malnupiravir (Merck) and paxlovid (Pfizer). Both are “small molecule” drugs, easy to produce and for oral use (The Economist, 12 Nov 21)
  • 100 Years of Insulin (Toronto, 1922), a therapeutic success, but a failure in its worldwide spread. The producing companies are Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly and Sanofi. Now there is biosimilar (The Lancet, Nov 13, 21)
  • The 100,000 genomes project in the United Kingdom (Genomics England) has made it possible to catalog, and in some cases treat, many rare diseases (New England Journal of Medicine, 11 Nov 21)
  • The rise of the COVID epidemic in Germany (almost 500 cases in the last 14 days per 100,000 inhabitants), at the peak and rising, is considered an pandemic of the unvaccinated. Among the factors, the interim Merkel government is valued (NYT, 11 Nov 21). Merkel will meet with the “Länder” next week to take measures against the growth of the covid (El Mundo, 11 Nov 21)
  • The Netherlands imposes new restrictions, as COVID cases are very high (The Guardian, 12 Nov 21)
  • The governments of 42 countries (including the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany) ask to cut emissions from the healthcare sector. The sector’s emissions represent 5% of the total. If it were considered a country, the health sector would be the 5th emitter of CO2 pollution (NYT, 8 Nov 21)
  • The Economist analyzes the non-zero cost of China’s zero-COVID policy (The Economist, 13 Nov 21)
  • COVID vaccination will be mandatory for NHS staff starting next spring (FT, 9 Nov 21)
  • Waiting lists on the NHS soared. They grow by 100,000 people in a month. More than 5.8 million were waiting in September, with 12,500 awaiting treatment for more than two years (FT, Nov 11 21)



  • The government approves the “preliminary draft of the Law by which various norms are modified to consolidate the equity, universality and cohesion of the National Health System” (reference of the Council of Ministers 8 Nov 21)
  • The Secretary of State for Health publishes a prior consultation on the draft bill of measures for equity, universality and cohesion of the National Health System, establishing the November 19 deadline for submitting opinions.
  • The Minister of Health, in public statements, mentions the laws that are going to be repealed or modified. Among those that will be repealed, “explicitly and expressly”, she mentions Law 15/97, on enabling new forms of management in the National Health System (El Periódico de España, 8 Nov 21)
  • The BOE publishes the agreement between the Government, certain autonomous communities and the Amando Ortega Foundation, for the implementation of 10 proton therapy equipment in the public system. A monitoring commission is created on the subject (BOE, no. 267, 8 Nov 21)
  • The health PERTE is presented on November 15. It is integrated into the five PERTES that the government has devised: cutting-edge healthcare, electric vehicle, new language economy, aerospace and smart and sustainable food chain. It appears that the health PERTE will have three components: 1. Innovative techniques and technologies for the diagnosis and prevention of diseases; 2. Development of advanced therapies; and, 3. Platform for the design and industrial production of medicines and vaccines (ConSalud, 11 Nov 21)
  • The autonomies claim to maintain the covid funds for 2022 (El País, 9 Nov 21)
  • The University of Washington predicts a sixth wave of covid in Spain (Vozpópuli, 8 Nov 21)
  • The cumulative incidence of covid grows in Spain to 71.5 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days. It is not comparable to the figures of other European countries, but it continues to rise slowly (ConSalud, 12 Nov 21)
  • The waiting list grows. The latest data published is from December 31, 2020 and the waiting time had passed, in relation to the previous record, from 121 to 148 days for interventions. Pending publication of the data corresponding to June 2021 (ConSalud, 8 Nov 21)



  • J&J (Johnson & Johnson) will be divided into two companies: one dedicated to consumer products and the other to drugs and medical devices (NYT, 12 Nov 21)
  • GE (General Electric) will be divided into three companies: health, energy and aviation (FT, 9 Nov 21)
  • The Spanish pharmaceutical industry proposes a plan of 1.7 billion to produce essential drugs (CincoDías, 10 Nov 21)
  • Moderna rejects the claims of the American government to appear as a co-inventor of vaccine technology (FT, 11 Nov 21)
  • BioNTech shoots its profit up to 7,126 million euros in the first nine months of the year. (Floor Twelve, Nov 9, 21)
  • The Zendal hospital in the post-pandemic: 400 personnel for 38 patients (Diario.es, Nov 7 21)
  • Fresenius is interested, along with other investors, in InsudPharma, specialized in biosimilars and valued at 1,000 million euros (El Periódico de España, Nov 9, 21)
  • Advent gives gas to Vitaldent, with the purchase of Smysecret (dental aesthetic treatments) (PlantaDoce, 12 Nov 21)
  • Acciona will build a hospital in Chile (PlantaDoce, 11 Nov 21)
  • KKR enters fertility with the purchase of GeneraLife from Invesindustrial (Expansión, 10 Nov 21)
  • HIPRA will imminently begin the new phase of clinical trials for its vaccine (El Economista, Nov 8, 21)
  • Grifols liquidates the blood bag business and closes production in Brazil and Murcia (Cinco Días, Nov 12, 21)

7 days in healthcare (1-7 november, 2021)




From an international point of view, to highlight something we knew: that WHO, in its current configuration, is not prepared for global health challenges. However, this finding is important in the article in the British Medical Journal by Anthony Costello. Europe, once again in the center of expansion of the pandemic. The decision of the North American Democrats to reduce the price of medicines, via the negotiation in Medicare, is very far-reaching. This decision, if applied, will have major consequences for the entire pharmaceutical industry globally.

At the national level, to highlight the article in The Lancet, which says that Spain could have achieved group immunity. For the rest, the incidence of COVID continues to grow in our country, although it does not reach, by far, those of other European countries. Waiting lists are a big concern throughout Spain. Controversy over the new Equity, Universalization and Cohesion Law. Podemos wants to take advantage of it to repeal Law 15/1997, which allows the outsourcing of health services.

As a business activity, to highlight the two new antivirals against covid-19, one from Merck and the other from Pfizer. Merck has released the patent so that it can be used widely in developing countries. Novartis dissociates itself from Roche, selling it its 33% stake in the latter company.


  • The WHO, in its current configuration, is not ready for its purpose, but is limited by lack of funds and political interference, and this has been demonstrated in this pandemic that has produced more than 18 million deaths, writes the economist Anthony Costello in the British Medical Journal (BMJ, 3 Nov 21)
  • Europe once again at the center of the covid pandemic, says WHO, (The Guardian, 4 Nov 21)
  • The WHO warns of the increase in deaths from covid in 56 countries, and insists that vaccine manufacturers have not done their job well (ConSalud, 5 Nov 21)
  • Democrats in the United States reach an agreement to reduce the price of drugs, allowing the government to negotiate the price of Medicare drugs. The United States pays three times more for many drugs than Europe, according to a study by the Brookings Institution. Initially, the measure will be launched with the 12 most expensive drugs (FT, 2 Nov 21)
  • The fourth wave continues to beat the record of infections in Greece, with almost 7,000 daily (El Confidencial, 6 Nov 21)
  • Excess mortality grows in Russia, since the beginning of the pandemic (FT, 2 Nov 21)
  • The management of the pandemic leaves a trail of investigated political leaders: Brazil, France, Italy, Austria, India, … (El Debate, 2 Nov 21)
  • India’s successes against covid are analyzed: more than half of Indians have received at least one dose of the vaccine. 6 million are vaccinated every day (The Economist, 29 Oct 21)



  • The Lancet suggests that Spain could have achieved group immunity. They are based on the high infections and the high percentage of vaccination (La Razón, 3 Nov 21)
  • The incidence of covid rises more than two points, to 53.7 cases per 100,000 inhabitants (El País, 5 Nov 21)
  • Madrid for the first time exceeds half a million patients to see the specialist. Experts warn that the pandemic has generated in Spain a dammed demand that will emerge in the coming semesters (El País, 5 Nov 21)
  • Spain, one of the five countries in which Covid-19 caused the greatest loss in life expectancy, according to a study published by the British Medical Journal (ABC, 3 Nov 21)
  • The Health Ministry sells a million vaccines to Australia, New Zealand and Paraguay, before they expire (El Español, 2 Nov 21)
  • The WHO requests to increase oral public coverage in Spain (Health Act. The proposal receives the support of the General Council of Dentists (Health Act, 5 Nov 21)
  • Podemos will not support the Darias Equity Law. The Ministry wants to promote a Law of Equity, Universality and Cohesion and Podemos does not support it by not repealing Law 15/1997, which allows the outsourcing of health services (ConSalud, 5 Nov 21)
  • The Health Ministry seeks location for its strategic reserve of covid material (El Periódico de España, 5 Nov 21)



  • Merck drug effective to treat covid-19. The drug is an oral antiviral, called molnupiravir, and has already been approved by the British Agency. It has been launched by Merck and Ridbback Biotherapeutics, a Florida-based biotech. The drug is indicated for the unvaccinated and for those vaccinated who develop the disease. The treatment will be worth US $ 700 in developed countries. Merck will allow the development of generics in 105 countries (The Economist, 4 Nov 21)
  • Alphabet, Google’s parent company, launches an AI company, Isomorphic Labs, for the discovery of new drugs. It will work together with DeepMinds, Google’s AI company (FT, 4 Nov 21)
  • Pfizer increases the sales forecast of its covid vaccine in 2021 to 36,000 million US $ (FT, 2 Nov 21)
  • Biogroup, a bioanalysis group piloted by Stéphane Eimer and with a presence in Belgium, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom, enters the Iberian Peninsula with the purchase of Cerba Internacional and Analiza (both owned by Marcelo Weisz). ASISA will retain its 50% stake in Analiza (Les Echos, 4 Nov 21)
  • Novavax, a protein-based American covid-19 vaccine, receives its first approval in Indonesia. May promote immunization in developing countries. An application for authorization has also been sent to Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union (FT, 1 Nov 21)
  • Pfizer announces an antiviral pill (Paxlovid) that prevents 89% of hospitalizations and deaths from covid (El País, 5 Nov 21)
  • The Valencian government will propose to the Data Protection Agency a sanction to Ribera for withholding data from the Torrevieja hospital (eldiario.es, Nov 4 21)
  • Centene closes the year of the coronavirus with losses in its health adventure in Spain (Nov 6, 21)
  • “Son Espases”: the macro-investigation on the concession to OHL of this hospital in the Balearic Islands, which links the Balearic Islands with the illegal financing of the PP (eldiario.es, Nov 5, 21)
  • Novartis sells its 33% stake to Roche for more than US $ 20 billion. A relationship of more than twenty years between the two companies is ended (PlantaDoce, Nov 4, 21)
  • MD Anderson launches a clinical trials unit (PlantaDoce, 3 Nov 21)
  • Eugin expands through Canada and acquires the fertility centers of Trio Fertility (PlantaDoce, 2 Nov 21)
  • Affidea, a European provider of diagnostic imaging, outpatient services and cancer care, expands in Spain and Northern Ireland with two new acquisitions (PlantaDoce, Nov 3, 21)
  • The biotechnology company of Spanish origin Aura Biosciences, jumps to the Nasdaq (PlantaDoce, 3 Nov 21)
  • Rovi doubles its profit in the first nine months of 2021, to 99 million (PlantaDoce, 3 Nov 21)

7 days in healthcare (October 11-17, 2021)


  • A British Parliament report “Coronavirus: Lessons Learned to Date” is highly critical of the government’s policies in the face of the pandemic. The report is not just about covid, but about how decisions are made in government. Confinement was not decreed until March 24, 2020 in the United Kingdom (BMJ, Oct 15, 21)
  • “Decarbonization of the health sector in the US”, NEJM article on the need to take decarbonization measures in the health sector, which represents 8.5% of C02 emissions (NEJM, 13 Oct 21)
  • The WHO warns that progress in tuberculosis was slowed by the pandemic. Mortality from tuberculosis rose for the first time in more than a decade (FT, Oct 14 21)
  • Vaccination of the poorest countries is vital for recovery (FT, Oct 12, 21)
  • Ten WHO commitments in favor of climate action, defining global warming as the most serious threat to health facing humanity (Note WHO, Oct 11, 21)
  • The success of mRNA vaccines opens prospects for a new generation of drugs (FT, Oct 13, 21)
  • In the USA, covid cases fell by 22%, leaving hope that the worst has already passed (FT, Oct 11 21)
  • The WHO appoints the experts in charge of reactivating the investigations on the origin of the covid (El País, 13 Oct 21)
  • The WHO officially defines persistent covid as a disease (La Vanguardia, Oct 11, 21)
  • The FDA authorizes E-cigarettes for the first time in the American market (NYT, 12 Oct 21)
  • A new therapy eliminates head and neck tumors in terminally ill patients (The Guardian, 11 Oct 21)
  • Only one in seven cases of covid in Africa has been diagnosed, while less than 5% of Africans have received the full vaccination schedule (El País, 14 Oct 21)
  • Human guinea pigs in Brazil, authorities study 200 deaths in the study of an experimental drug against covid (El País, 14 Oct 21)
  • This is how COVAX has failed, in its attempt to vaccinate the world against covid (El País, 12 Oct 21)
  • The release of patents is paralyzed in Brussels, in favor of COVAX (Medical Staff, Oct 14 21)
  • The EU pharmaceutical strategy approved in the European Parliament committee (Acta Sanitaria, 12 Oct 21)




  • Covid: the incidence remains at 40 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, but the deaths remain above 50 a day (El Mundo, 16 Oct 21)
  • The scientists who participated in the creation of the covid vaccine have an appointment in Oviedo at the “Princess of Asturias” awards (La Nueva España, 13 Oct 21)
  • The Spanish Society of Psychiatry rejects the draft of the Podemos Mental Health Law (El Debate, 13 Oct 21)
  • Psychiatrists see Sánchez’s mental health plan as “populist” and unfounded, which includes 100 million euros (La Nueva España, Oct 12, 21)
  • The deans of medicine warn that in five years half of the doctors who teach will retire and there is no relief. Ways are being sought to increase the incentives and rigidity of the ANECA accreditation system (El País, 12 Oct 21)
  • Andalusian primary care takes to the streets to ask for a comprehensive reform of the service (El Confidencial, Oct 14 21)
  • The PP plans to repeal the abortion law (the one of terms, not the one of assumptions), although the Constitutional law endorses it (El País, 13 Oct 21)
  • Those over 69 years of age will receive the flu vaccine and the third dose of the covid vaccine in the same act. The procedure will begin on October 25 (La Vanguardia, Oct 13 21)
  • The OMC (Organización Médica Colegial) warns of the risk of increased organ trafficking (Acta Sanitaria, 13 Oct 21)
  • The Amancio Ortega Foundation will help implement proton therapy in the SNS, through donations (ConSalud, 13 Oct 21)
  • Argimón: we are not asking for the MIR exam, but for co-governance (ConSalud, 13 Oct 21)
  • Biocat appoints new director: Robert Fabregat (PlantaDoce 14 Oct 21)



  • The Age and Life and Technology and Health Foundations publish a report on homecare: “Future model: Home technology to support social and health care” (diariofarma, 14 Oct 21)
  • Medtronic brings the Da Vinci competitor surgical robot (HUGO) to Spain. There are 80 Da Vinci robots installed in our country, which will reach 90 by the end of the year (El Economista, Oct 14 21)
  • The German pharmaceutical company Curevac renounces its vaccine against covid (El Periódico de España, 12 Oct 21)
  • The Spanish Top Doctors raises more than 11 million to implement its telemedicine platform (CincoDías, 14 Oct 21)
  • The Werfen medical group (a Catalan medical diagnostics company, with a presence in 30 countries, linked to the Rubiralta family) makes an issue of 300 million euros (CincoDías, 15 Oct 21)
  • Iñaki Peralta (CEO Sanitas): “The coronavirus will have a small impact on the price of premiums” (CincoDías, 14 Oct 21)
  • Apax explores the sale of UNILABS, including its businesses in Spain (CincoDías, 12 Oct 21)
  • Health in code: agreement to promote precision medicine in Germany (PlantaDoce, 14 Oct 21)
  • Ribera and the Consellería formalize the transfer of the Torrevieja Hospital to public management (Valencia Plaza, 15 Oct 21)
  • Adeslas creates a virtual training campus for its professionals (SegurCaixaAdeslas official note, 14 Oct 21)
  • Genesis Care bets on Spain with an investment of 40 million in three years (PlantaDoce, 13 Oct 21)
  • Alliance Healthcare launches its new headquarters in Viladecans (PlantaDoce, 14 Oct 21)

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)