7 days in healthcare (March 25th-31st, 2024)



From the point of view of Biomedicine, it should be noted that possibly the next “boom” will be everything related to anti-aging therapies, an aspect to which the Financial Times dedicates an article, following the appearance of three books on the subject. . The Economist dedicates a lot of space in its latest issue to the issue of AI in healthcare, no less than an editorial and four articles. The conclusion is that AI will have a great impact on healthcare. However, as Eric Topol, the well-known cardiologist and health publicist, comments in another article in the Financial Times, “AI is very transformational, but these things always take longer than you initially think.” Nature magazine analyzes the reasons for optimism about cancer vaccines. Vaccines to treat, not to prevent.

Regarding Global Health, the WHO focuses on the millions of undiagnosed cases of tuberculosis, which compromise efforts to combat this disease. The WHO estimates that in 2023 there will be three million new cases not known to health services. Problems continue between developed and developing countries, which do not agree on the Treaty on the prevention of pandemics, proposed by the WHO as a goal for 2024.

In terms of International Health Policy, the King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust, two prestigious British think tanks on health, analyze satisfaction with the NHS, which is the lowest in the entire history of this institution. Only 24% of citizens in England, Scotland and Wales are happy with the service, with waiting lists being the most common complaint. In France, the Sorbonne Faculty of Medicine and a former health minister propose “strong measures” to, they say, prevent the degradation of the health system in France. Of the three measures they propose, one of them has to do with the preservation of “medical time” (through non-medical assistants in consultation); and the other with the promotion of advanced practice nursing.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), based on Primary Care analysis that is on the Ministry’s website, it is observed that people treated in primary health centers who earn less than 18,000 euros per year are medicalized more frequently, have prescribed more chronic drugs and consume more pills for pain, anxiety or depression. The Ministry of Health is studying allowing price competition between medicines so that generics can gain market share. This would affect generics and biosimilars, which would be cheaper than brand-name ones and it would be the patient who, if they wanted, would assume the difference. The situation in Spain of the same price for generics as for branded ones is unique in Europe. The objective is to stimulate the development of the generic and biosimilar industry and, ultimately, reduce the pharmaceutical bill for these medicines, in order to allow the incorporation of innovations. If it is carried out, it will be great news. Of note is the agreement signed between the Colleges of Pharmacists of the Basque Country and the Department of Health of that community, with the idea of facilitating the integration of community pharmacies as health agents in the health system. More than interesting is the article published in Human Resources for Health, and whose first signatory is Sara Calderón-Larrañaga, and which analyzes the reasons why primary doctors leave Spain. The work consisted of a survey, focus groups and interviews with 158 primary doctors who had left Spain. The causes of their departure were, in order of importance: insufficient salary, temporary employment, excessive workload, poor governance of primary care, lack of flexibility in the workplace and personal circumstances. There are the keys to a reform of Primary Care.

As for Companies, internationally, a cancer drug (Keytruda, from Merck-MSD), the best-selling drug in the world. In Spain, the historic achievements of Rovi, with a business approach that goes beyond covid. We must also highlight Vithas’ hospital commitment in Barcelona, where construction is underway.


Global Health

International health policy

National health policy


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 (

National health policy




7 days in healthcare (October 23rd-29th, 2023)



From the point of view of Biomedicine, Nature magazine analyzes the great impact of Artificial Intelligence in medicine. Interesting article from the New York Times about the possible addictive nature of social networks.

Regarding Global Health, the WHO adds 6.9 million deaths from covid, although warning that the global figure could triple. Major humanitarian and health crisis in Gaza, which is the subject of WHO concern.

In terms of International Health Policy, the NEJM wonders if the introduction of the American government’s law that requires negotiating the price of drugs for Medicare will delay the appearance of new cancer drugs. The conclusion is that, although pharmaceutical companies will look for ways to maintain their profits, delaying the appearance of medications does not seem to be the best strategy, due to the ethical, reputational and financial considerations inherent to the operation. The Economist analyzes how it seems that healthcare has ceased to be the bottomless pit for public accounts, as it was for many years, in which, year after year, its relative weight in the countries’ GDP increased. Although health expenditure increased its share of GDP in the years 20-21, due to the joint effect of health expenditure due to the pandemic and the decline in GDP, it has since fallen to reach 2008 levels. In the United Kingdom, It seems highly unlikely that Prime Minister Sunak will deliver on his promises on NHS waiting lists.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), given the evolution of the negotiations for the investiture and the possible continuity of Sánchez in the government, the national news of the week is the publication of the document “Spain advances”, which contains the agreements of the PSOE with SUMAR on different topics. The general tone of the document is more about promises than progress in certain necessary reforms and this same philosophy permeates the health part. On the other hand, the document does not cover all the topics (it does not talk about Defense, very little about foreign policy or other relevant issues). It gives the impression that this is the part in which SUMAR would intervene. From this point of view, as the health part is developed in some detail, it is assumed that a strong intervention by SUMAR in health is expected, regardless of whether the Ministry of Health is handed over to it. In summary, what is promised is to continue the processing of the Equity Law (which establishes direct public management as the preferred form of management in the SNS), a law is proposed with maximum times for waiting lists and there is talk of new benefits in mental health, oral health (although it seems to limit it to children and adolescents) and visual health. We consider the emphasis on the preferential nature of direct public management negative (there is multiple evidence of the good results of public companies and foundations or health concessions) and regarding the law on the waiting list it will surely not be the best way to solve this problem. We have already seen laws and regulations in some communities that had no effect. Both the PP, in the political sphere, and ASPE and ACES, in the world of health representation, have been against these measures.

In the field of Companies, on an international level, Amazon is torn between promises and realities in healthcare. Although large technology platforms will surely have an increasing role in healthcare (as in the financial world), it seems that they are finding it difficult to enter. Roche reaches an agreement to buy Telavant. At the national level, Ribera reaches an agreement with Microsoft to promote innovation and AI in healthcare. It seems that Grifols is making progress in its therapy against Alzheimer’s.


Global Health

International health policy

National health policy


7 days in healthcare (September 4th-10th, 2023)



From the point of view of Biomedicine, in an editorial article, the Financial Times comments on the promise of anti-obesity drugs. Despite the clear benefits of the new drugs, there are unresolved issues: first, the limited knowledge of long-term effects; second, the drug is initially expensive. Private patients in the UK are expected to pay £300 a month; and, third, medications should be a complement rather than a substitute for general lifestyle measures. The first human organ created in an animal opens the door to manufacturing spare parts for people.

With regard to Global Health, the new director of Africa CDC publishes in Nature magazine the new policy guidelines of this body, aimed at addressing public health problems in Africa.

Regarding International Health Policy, it is confirmed that the latest versions of the vaccines are prepared for the new variants. Profound administrative reform of healthcare in Portugal, driven by the socialist government and, specifically, by the SNS administrator appointed about a year ago, Fernando Araujo. 31 management units (ULS, local health units) are created, which will be public business entities, with a board of directors, and a financing model in which money follows the patient. All hospitals will be assigned to one of these units. Strong criticism for the government’s secrecy in this reform, which has been carried out without prior consultation. The doctors’ order says that the reform will be a “complete disaster.” Despite what has been said, the reform has nothing to do with an implementation of the Spanish Alzira model in Portugal, but it is a public reform. Although some of the measures (business configuration of the management units, board of directors, new financing model in which money follows the patient) “sound good”, the truth is that a reform of this caliber carried out no longer without consensus political but without even public debate it is more than doubtful that it can be successful. He also questions the government’s idea of “getting out of the way” of healthcare by delegating changes to an “administrator.”

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), commitment of the Ministry of Health with the measures agreed with the pharmaceutical industry, with the participation even of President Sánchez, to ensure the investment of 8 billion euros. It seems that the conditions are to improve access to medicines; enhance R&D; increase industrial capacities and create supply chains for resilient drugs. Although it is logical and desirable for the government to be “business friendly” with companies in general and with pharmaceutical companies in particular, it is doubtful that such an explicit agreement is the best path for both parties. On the other hand, it must not be forgotten, in view of the government’s commitments, that we are in full discussion of European pharmaceutical policy. Certain relevant changes in the Community of Madrid: possibility of requesting any test from Primary Care and facility for non-EU doctors to work in Madrid. The Royal Decree approving the specialty of emergencies comes out in public hearing, something long awaited and promised, but no less controversial and debatable. The general director of Pharmacy, César Hernández, says that “we do not have a general problem of access to medicines”, which can also be controversial in certain environments.

In the field of Companies, at the international level, Novonordisk becomes the most valuable company in Europe according to market capitalization. Lilly tries to get ahead of Novordisk in the obesity market. Regarding national news, HM Hospitales expands its offer in Madrid with a new polyclinic in an area of intense growth such as Vadebebas.


Global Health

  • New public health model in Africa. Article in Nature by Jean Kaseya, the new director of Africa CDC. 6 proposals: local manufacture of vaccines; improved tracking system; integrated health systems; laboratory network; emergency response design; robust national institutes of public health (
  • Cancers in young people (under 50) have risen by 80% in the last three decades, including breast, lung, stomach and colorectal cancers. ( Original article in the BMJ:

International Health Policy

  • Portugal
    • Deep administrative reform of healthcare, promoted by the socialist government. 31 management units (ULS, local health units) are created, which will be public business entities, with a board of directors, and a financing model in which money follows the patient. All hospitals will be assigned to one of these units. Strong criticism for the government’s secrecy in this reform, which has been carried out without prior consultation. The doctors’ order says that the reform will be a “complete disaster.” The reform is attributed to Fernando Araujo, the SNS administrator appointed by the government last year (

National health policy





7 days in healthcare (November 21st-27th, 2022)



Most notably from the Biomedicine standpoint, the FDA is approving a drug that could delay the onset of type 1 diabetes, the devastating disease that often occurs in adolescents. Also the preclinical study that seems to foreshadow a universal flu vaccine. Likewise, the minirobot designed by Apple capable of taking medicines to the brain, that organ until now practically inaccessible to drugs.

With regard to Global Health, the COP27 summit is considered in an article in The Lancet a “collective failure”, given the lack of agreement on the lower use of fossil fuels. We must also note the race for the production of vaccines in several African countries.

Regarding International Health Policy, mortality from covid remains high and is very worrying in some countries, mainly Japan, Brazil, India, China, the Russian Federation, South Korea and Spain. The covid-zero policy is generating problems and discontent in a country where public demonstrations are as controlled as in China. The nurses’ strike in the United Kingdom is a historic event in that country, which will undoubtedly will have consequences.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), mortality from covid remains high in Spain (260 cases in the last week). At this time Spain has 0.6 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, a fairly high mortality, although lower than other European countries, such as France, Greece, Denmark, Norway, Croatia, Estonia and Luxembourg, according to WHO data. The waiting lists for June 30 are published by the Ministry of Health. A real national problem and a serious delegitimization of the public system, which some minimize. The strike of Primary Care doctors continues in Madrid, while the conflict threatens to spread to other autonomous communities. The rise in the electricity bill threatens the profitability of private hospitals, according to ASPE.

In the field of Companies, at the international level, Amazon is making a new foray into healthcare, this time with the “Amazon Clinic” platform, a telemedicine service that will be extended to 32 American states and offers virtual care for 20 clinical conditions. At the national level, news at HM Hospitales, with the new hospital in Rivas; in Recoletas, which extends to Salamanca; and, in Sanitas, which intends to create its own clinical analysis laboratory.


Global Health

International Health Policy

National health policy


  • International News
    • Amazon makes a new attempt at healthcare. The offers of the big technological platforms are diversified: Apple tries to monitor through the iPhone; Microsoft, offers computer services to companies; Alphabet (Google), relies on wearables. Amazon launches the most ambitious offer, with “Amazon Clinic”, an online service that will operate in 32 American states and that offers virtual care for 20 clinical conditions, from acne to allergies ( business/2022/11/20/amazon-makes-a-new-push-into-health-care)
    • The big pharma aims for 50,000 million dollars in medicines against obesity, a disease that affects 650 million people in the world, as demand grows. Lilly will submit a drug for authorization (



7 days in healthcare (July 18th-24th, 2022)



From the point of view of Biomedicine, it is worth highlighting the finding published by “Science” that in covid the continuous appearance of variants is the new normality, but the appearance of a totally new variant cannot be ruled out. We must also highlight the very promising advances published in the treatment of the most aggressive form of breast cancer (the triple negative form) by a group of Spanish scientists, led by Javier Cortés.

As far as Global Health is concerned, it is worth noting the efforts of the WHO to establish 2030 as the year of elimination of viral hepatitis, which produces more cases and deaths per year than HIV. The covid pandemic has produced a global decrease in vaccination in children.

Regarding international health policy, the WHO declares monkeypox an international public health emergency. New waves of extreme heat are expected.

If we talk about national health policy (Spain), with 3,125 cases, Spain leads the cases of monkeypox in the world. As for covid, there is a peak in admissions to the ICU and deaths already exceed those of June. It is estimated that 510 deaths from the heat wave in the last week. Published in the BOE the new Royal Decree on Specialties in Health Sciences. Publication of the Health Barometer (2nd wave, 2022), which shows that the average time to see a primary care physician is 8.88 days.

In the field of companies, it should be noted that Amazon buys One Medical, entering more and more into the core of the health activity. Important Farmaindustria manifestos, to favor the rapid incorporation of innovations; and AESEG, to promote greater use of generics.


Global health

International health policy

  • Monkeypox
    • The WHO declares monkeypox an international public health emergency, putting this disease at the level of covid-19, Ebola and polio. Overall, the global risk from monkeypox is low, except in Europe. More than 16,000 cases have been registered so far, mostly in men who have sex with men (

National health policy







7 days in healthcare (April 25-May 1, 2022)



From the point of view of biomedicine, to highlight the evolution of acute hepatitis in children; Lilly’s announcement of a drug to tackle obesity that could compete with bariatric surgery; and the analysis of the New England Journal of Medicine on the “boosters” for covid.

As far as Global Health is concerned, we again quote Bill Gates, who is publishing a new book on pandemic prevention. Great concern about the resurgence of measles, yellow fever and polio in Africa, due to the low levels of vaccination against these diseases, given that resources have been largely diverted to covid.

As for international health policy, the problems of the “zero-covid” policy in China continue, which threatens the global economy, due to the closure of the largest port in the world: Shanghai. It seems increasingly clear that for political reasons this “zero-covid” approach will not change until the approval of a third term for its leader Xi. Also noteworthy is the very serious discrediting of the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, which until now had been the object of almost religious veneration.

If we talk about national health policy (Spain), the incidence of covid continues to increase, particularly in some regions (Galicia, Navarra, Asturias and Castilla y León). The Health Advertising Law was not approved by Parliament, which is not necessarily bad news, since it was largely part of the confrontation between the College of Dentists and the dental care networks. The announced strike of doctors in Madrid, regardless of its results, has its origin in a very serious problem: the very high rate of temporary employment (more than 50% of doctors in the public system in Madrid). Very interesting statements by José Ramón Repullo, proposing national accreditation and hiring at the local level.

In the field of companies, from the international point of view, certain possible disruptive changes for the pharmaceutical industry should be highlighted: 3D printing, which would allow the “manufacturing” of medicines in a clinical environment; and the movements of Amazon for the sale of prescription drugs.


Global Health

International health policy

  • COVID-19

o Serious problems continue in China with the “zero-covid” policy. The general impression is that the rhetoric of war does not help to defeat covid ( covid), while the global economic implications of the closure of Shanghai persist, the largest port in the world (

o The “zero-covid” policy in China, a great personal bet of the leader Xi and difficult to be modified before his re-election for a third term ( 4a76-9b81-d561deaabc5c)

o Covid cases on the rise in virtually all of the United States (

  • Other issues

o The FDA, about to ban menthol cigarettes. They are the most used among the black population (

o Very serious loss of prestige of the National Health Service, which is ending an almost religious adoration of this body in the United Kingdom. A survey says that global satisfaction dropped to 36%, something never known. Poor staff planning among major problems (

National health policy (Spain)


o The cumulative incidence among people over 60 years of age continues to rise, reaching (April 29) 676.43 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, an increase of almost 70 points compared to the previous measurement. Occupation rate due to covid: 5.12% in the ward and 3.66% in the ICU ( deceased-ia-exceeds-676-points_113987_102.html)

o The Ministry of Health reports almost 2,000 deaths in April, the first full month of “flu” from covid ( flu-covid/668683313_0.html)

o Increase in the incidence of covid grows by 35% after Easter and there are already four regions with the unbridled incidence (Galicia, Navarra, Asturias and Castilla y León) ( /revenues-covid-semana-santa-ccaa-incident-runaway/668183406_0.html)

o The Ministry of Health will authorize the fourth dose for those over 80 years of age and those who live in residences, a total of about 3 million people ( fourth-dose-vaccine-covid-older-80.html)

  • Regulatory announcements

o The Health Advertising Law presented by the PP fails, which is regretted by the professional associations, in particular that of dentists. Apparently, the Government is preparing a Royal Decree on the subject (

  • Other issues

o Madrid hospital doctors go on strike over temporary contracts (

o Interesting statements by José Ramón Repullo regarding the temporality of doctors and health professionals and their non-solution through the OPEs. He proposes national accreditation and contracting by centers, as exists in other countries ( -of-a-bad-system-worse-governed.html)

o Cases of severe hepatitis in children in Spain rise to 22 (

o 700,000 Spaniards on the surgical waiting list, the worst figure in the history of public healthcare ( html)

o Núñez Feijóo calls for the creation of the emergency specialty, with the argument of preventing primary care professionals from leaving (

o Facme presents the Spanish recertification model (

o Five communities (Extremadura, Aragón, Baleares, Comunidad Valenciana and Navarra) ask AIReF to evaluate their healthcare and pharmaceutical spending ( the-airef-assess-your-health-care-and-pharmaceutical-expenditure)

o Very interesting article by José Luis Puerta: “Data saves lives”, on the need to overcome the situation in which the custodians of the data are not capable of exploiting them, nor do they allow third parties to do so (https://www.diariomedico .com/opinion/data-saves-lives.html)


  • International News

o Possible disruptive changes for the pharmaceutical industry ( volumetric 3D printing that would allow drugs to be “manufactured” in a clinical setting ( and Amazon Prime’s offer to facilitate basic drugs for $1 a month (

o Roche sales soar in the United States due to the demand for covid tests (

o Investors pressure Nestlé and Kraft Heinz to target health (

o Philips records losses of 151 million euros in the first quarter of 2022 ( -first-quarter-of-2022.html)

o Abbie strengthens its neurosciences portfolio and acquires Syndesis Therapeutics (

  • National News

o Lácer attracts the interest of venture capital funds (

o Grifols closes the purchase operation of its German rival Biotest (

o Faes Farma profit grows 24% thanks to licenses and the Latin American market ( -a-24-thanks-to-the-licenses-and-the-latin-american-market.html)

o Senniors disembark in Abu Dhabi with the support of the country’s sovereign wealth fund ( -country.html)

o Quirónsalud launches a new rehabilitation center in Ronda de Triana ( -triana.html)

o Hospitales Parque (CASER) accelerates in 2021 and raises its income by 46%, up to 58 million euros ( -46-your-income-up-to-58-million-euros.html)

o Asisa strengthens Otoaudio and opens its first center in Seville (

o Asisa Dental opens its first own clinic in the Canary Islands in Las Palmas (







7 days in healthcare (February 7-13, 2022)


From the point of view of biomedicine, to highlight the advances that allow paraplegics to walk, through spinal implants.

Regarding Global Health, it is worth mentioning the WHO warning that the pandemic has threatened the health systems of 90% of the countries; as well as the health problems in Burkina Faso and Afghanistan.

In relation to international health policy, the WHO statement that the pandemic is not over and that more variants are expected should be highlighted. In some countries the restrictions are lifted (United Kingdom, Norway) while in others (Germany) they continue. HERA (the new European Authority for Preparedness and Response to Health Emergencies) begins its steps and will receive a budget of 1,300 million euros in 2022.

In national health policy, we are witnessing a relaxation of the restriction measures, as a consequence of the decrease in the figures of the pandemic (less than 1,500 per 100,000 inhabitants), although these figures are still high and are accompanied by high mortality. Nor is the appearance of new variants ruled out. On the other hand, in the face of loud announcements by the Government, the incorporation of Paxlovid, Pfizer’s medication against serious cases of COVID, is delayed. Work begins for the creation of the State Public Health Surveillance Network, one of the conclusions of the work of the Commission for Social and Economic Reconstruction of the Congress of Deputies of July 3, 2020 (point 19.2), although in the conclusions of the commission there was talk of “urgently implementing” this issue. It is addressed two years after the first death from covid. Also noteworthy is the great concern and mobilizations carried out by the nursing sector. The General Council of Nursing Colleges publishes a Decalogue, whose first point is “Spain without nurses” and the last “Enough of ignoring us”. Spain leads the consumption of anxiolytics, which does not seem like a minor problem.

As far as company news is concerned, mention should be made of the FDA’s delay in approving Pfizer’s vaccine for children under 5 years of age. Also the entry of Nestlé in the field of health, positioning itself in weight control.


  • Spinal implants allow paraplegics to walk, swim and ride a bike. Breakthrough driven by Grégoire Courtine, a neuroscientist at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, and Jocelyne Bloch, a neurosurgeon at Lausanne University Hospital. The rupture of the cord prevents the transmission of electrical signals from the brain, which allows the implanted device (The Economist, 12 February 22)
  • There is a lack of evidence that current covid vaccines will produce herd immunity (American Journal of Medicine, February 6, 22)
  • A study analyzes the prevalence of loneliness in 113 countries, as a major health and social problem (BMJ, February 9, 22


  • The WHO warns that more than 90% of the countries have seen their health system threatened by the pandemic (interruptions in services, difficulties in accessing care, problems with emergency care) (La Razón, February 7, 22)
  • The WHO denounces actions by the pharmaceutical industry that make it difficult to bring covid vaccines to Africa. The declaration affects a foundation (kENUP) linked to BioNTech (BMJ, February 9, 22)
  • The armed conflict in the Sahel region (Burkina Faso) endangers the already weak health system (The Lancet, February 12, 22)
  • Afghanistan’s health system is collapsing under stress (NYT, February 6, 22)
  • Ukraine, fears that a health system that had made great progress in recent times is going into crisis due to the possible conflict (The Lancet 12 February 22)



o The WHO warns that the pandemic is not over and that more variants are expected (ABC, February 12, 22)

o Covid levels remain high in many parts of Europe, but restrictions tend to be lifted (FT, February 11, 22)

o The 1918 flu had devastating effects the third year (Washington Post, February 6, 22)

o Protests against covid restrictions in France and the Netherlands (The Guardian, February 12, 22)

o Waiting lists in England exceed 6 million for the first time (FT, 10 February 22)

o Boris Johnson plans to end the restrictions due to covid a month earlier than planned (The Guardian, February 9, 22)

o China, ready to impose greater confinements in Hong Kong (FT, February 11, 22)

o A study detects that NYC deer are infected by covid (NYT, February 7, 22)

o Seven out of ten vaccines administered in the EU are from Pfizer (El Español, February 11, 22)

o Norway lifts all restrictions against the pandemic (El País, February 13, 22)

o Germany will not lift the restrictions against covid (El Mundo, February 10, 22)

  • Other issues

o HERA (the new European Authority for Preparedness and Response to Health Emergencies) will have a total budget of 1,300 million in 2022 (diariofarma, February 10, 22)

o The EFPIA publishes a white paper on the effectiveness of public procurement of medicines in the EU (EFPIA, February 22)

o It seems that the attempts of the United States government to lower the price of medicines by allowing the negotiation of their prices in Medicare are failing (NEJM, February 9, 22)



o The low incidence of 1,500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Spain, although with 389 deaths on the last day with official information (La Vanguardia, February 11, 22)

o Delays in the incorporation of Paxlovid, Pfizer’s medication against severe COVID (El Periódico de España, February 11, 22)

  • Political announcements

o Spain begins to create the pandemic alert network, creating the State Public Health Surveillance Network (El Español, 13 February 22)

  • Other issues

o The nursing sector stars in demonstrations throughout Spain (La Razón, February 9, 22)

o Decalogue published by the General Council of Nursing Colleges (CGCE, February, 2022)

o Spain leads the consumption of anxiolytics in Europe, according to the latest report from the Narcotics Control Board (INCB), more than 2.5 million people consume psychotropic drugs daily (La Razón, February 12, 22)

o Spain doubles the number of leprosy cases in 2021 (The Objective, February 7, 22)

o The OMC (Collegiate Medical Organization), against Montero’s campaign on “obstetric violence” (El Español, February 10, 22)

o The Ombudsman intervenes in response to complaints of health cuts to MUFACE officials (La Razón, February 10, 22)

o In a meeting convened by the IMAS Foundation, specialists demand a digital health strategy (Health Act, February 9, 22)

o Cantabria wants to turn Valdecilla into a reference in precision medicine (Sanitary Act, February 10, 22)


  • Important medical bet by Amazon that is revolutionizing the health system in the USA (El Economista, February 12, 22)
  • The FDA puts a brake on the approval of Pfizer’s covid vaccine below 5 years (The Guardian, February 11, 22)
  • Novavax, the fifth vaccine, arrives in Europe the last week of February (diariofarma, February 10, 22)
  • China conditionally approves Pfizer’s treatment Paxlovid (The Guardian, 12 February 22)
  • CEOE: Adriana Bonezzi, new head of the health area (Medical Writing, February 7, 22)
  • Wivi vision. company that evaluates the capabilities of the visual system: agreement with General Óptica to implement it in its network of stores (PlantaDoce, February 8, 22)
  • Vithas joins forces with Genesis Care to launch a cancer center in Madrid (PlantaDoce, February 4, 22)
  • Pfizer more than doubles its profits in 2021, up to 22,000 million dollars (PlantaDoce, February 8, 22)
  • Nestlé Health Science buys Pronokal, positioning itself in the weight loss and control products sector (Diario Médico, February 7, 22)
  • J&J suspends the manufacture of its vaccine (Consalud, February 11, 22)
  • Dependency insurance grows 96% and closes 2021 with 128,000 insured (PlantaDoce, February 7, 22)
  • Durcal relies on Movistar to break into the elderly care segment (PlantaDoce, February 10, 22)
  • Nordic Cap and Amulet enter the bid for the IVI group, Morgan Stanley will receive the non-binding offers before February 23 (CincoDías, February 12, 22)



7 days in healthcare (December 20-26, 2021)




From an international point of view, possibly the most interesting is the summary of the year 2021 by The Lancet; also the studies that seem to show that the “omicron” variant is not only more contagious (which was already known), but that it produces a milder form of disease; the NEJM analyzes Amazon’s health offering; and finally, Israel’s attempts to move forward with the fourth dose.

As for national news, the most relevant thing is the great increase in the pandemic in Spain, which fundamentally translates into pressure on Primary Care and Emergencies, not so much in hospitals; the attitude of the central government in the Conference of Presidents of not imposing restrictive measures, in contrast to what is being done in other European countries; and the failures of the strategic reserve in health, which is causing a great shortage of antigen tests at this time.

With regard to companies and other agents in the sector, it is important to highlight that Europe approves the Novavax vaccine, which would already be the fifth vaccine approved in Europe. Also the authorization of the Merck pill by the FDA for high risk covid. From the point of view of corporate movements, perhaps the most relevant is the purchase of CERNER by Oracle, which may revolutionize the field of hospital informatics.



  • Farhat Yaqub summarizes for The Lancet the most notable events of 2021 in health: the COVID-19 pandemic, which had produced 3.3 million deaths globally as of December 10, 21, more than in 2020; COVID vaccination, with more than 8.4 billion doses administered through December 11; Biden instead of Trump, one of Biden’s first actions was to sign the executive order for the US to return to the WHO; the health impact of the conflict in Ethiopia; the effects of the decline in UK development aid; the COP 26 meeting in Glascow, which put climate change on the health agenda; the crisis in Afghanistan, the most serious current humanitarian crisis; abortion laws: legal in Argentina, banned in Honduras, severe restrictions in Texas; restrictions also in China; the approved malaria vaccine; severe shortage of midwives (The Lancet, Dec 18 21)
  • Three studies (England, Scotland and South Africa) show that the “omicron” variant produces milder COVID, with much less chance of being admitted to hospital (British Medical Journal, 23 Dec 21)
  • A NEJM article looks at Amazon’s healthcare offering: a combination of telemedicine and home care. Three main actions: mobile app; home assessment by a nurse; distribution of medication at home in two hours. A hybrid experience online and in person (NEJM, 23 Dec 21)
  • COVID vaccines are less effective against the “omicron” variant, says the EMA (FT, Dec 20 21)
  • Israel May Give Fourth Vaccine Dose, Despite Expert Reservations (NYT, Dec 23 21)
  • The “omicron” variant responsible for 75% of the cases in the USA (FT, Dec 21, 21)
  • The “omicron” variant has revealed a world not yet prepared for pandemics (FT, Dec 22 21)
  • US military announce SpFN, a valid vaccine against all variants of the coronavirus, including “omicron” (La Razón, Dec 22 21)
  • The “omicron” variant causes the cancellation of almost 5,000 flights around the world during the days of Christmas Eve and Christmas (CincoDías, 25 Dec 21)

National News

  • The incidence of COVID shoots up to 911 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days (El País, 23 Dec 21)
  • Germany declares Spain as a high-risk territory due to COVID (El País, 23 Dec 21)
  • Sánchez prioritizes the economy in the sixth wave and avoids any restrictive measure in the Conference of Presidents, apart from the mandatory nature of outdoor masks and certain possibilities of hiring professionals without recognized degrees (La Razón, Dec 24 21)
  • Feijóo, Moreno, Urkullu and Aragonés consider that the mask on the street is not enough (El Confidencial, Dec 22 21)
  • Harsh criticism from the General Council of Medical Associations in the absence of measures against COVID: “they seek formulas to avoid the burden of responsibility and fear to implement measures that contradict or further anger citizen-voters” (La Vanguardia, Dec 24 21 )
  • The ICUs of ten communities are already at “high risk” due to patient occupation (Aragon, Asturias, Balearic Islands, Cantabria, Castilla y León, Catalonia, Valencian Community, Navarra, Basque Country and La Rioja) (Vozpópuli, Dec 24 21)
  • The sixth wave will leave 9,000 dead in Spain, according to a study by the University of Washington (IHME, Covid 19 Results Briefing, Spain, December 23, 21)
  • The strategic health reserve falls short and does not alleviate the shortage of tests (El Periódico de España, Dec 25 21)
  • Spain has practiced a hundred euthanasias since the approval of the new law (The Objective, Dec 18 21)
  • Strong statements by President Díaz-Ayuso: “In some health centers, not everyone wants to work and pitch in” (El País, Dec 21, 21)
  • SEMERGEN demands that Díaz-Ayuso reconsider her statements about primary care (ConSalud, Dec 22 21)

Companies, employers and main health actors


  • Europe approves the Novavax vaccine. It would be the fifth COVID vaccine approved in Europe, after those of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen (FT, Dec 20 21)
  • Biogen cuts the price of its Alzheimer’s drug in half, due to low sales and divisions by experts about its benefits (FT, Dec 20 21)
  • Merck’s COVID pill is FDA cleared for high-risk adults (NYT, Dec 23, 21)
  • FENIN report on the hospital technological profile, with data updated to December 2020. FENIN has been conducting this study since 2009 (FENIN, Dec 21)
  • “MiQuirónsalud”, the portal that the hospital group makes available to its patients, exceeds four million users (ConSalud, Dec 21 21)
  • Oracle buys CERNER for more than 28,000 million euros to grow in health (PlantaDoce, Dec 22 21)
  • Atrys Health acquires 100% of Simm Molecular, which is dedicated to medical diagnosis in nuclear medicine (PlantaDoce, Dec 17 21)
  • Health in code and the Portuguese Algarve Biomedical Center sign an agreement for genetic diagnosis (PlantaDoce, Dec 22 21)
  • MBA (a medical technology company very oriented to orthopedics-traumatology and based in Asturias), until now owned by Alantra, is acquired by the Swedish group Addlife for 111 million euros (Medical Writing, 23 Dec 21)
  • Viamed, owned by the Macquarie fund, acquires the Fuensanta hospital in Madrid, until now owned by the Merina family. With this, Viamed now reaches 12 hospitals in Spain (PlantaDoce, 23 Dec 21)