Posts

7 days in healthcare (September 11th-17th, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, it is worth highlighting that the famous doctor and communicator Eric Topol publishes an article in the magazine Science about the multiplication of medical applications of artificial intelligence. The number of variables of each individual person (anatomical, genomic, metabolomics, epigenomics, etc.) can only be captured and used in diagnosis and treatment through the use of artificial intelligence. Clinicians must become familiar with these new tools and possibilities.

Regarding Global Health, The Lancet comments on what happened with the mpox pandemic (previously called monkeypox), which triggered a global alarm from the WHO and which today has decreased significantly. UN high-level meeting on tuberculosis, whose mortality has increased recently, after years of decline. The Gates Foundation proposes simple and cheap measures to improve the health of women who give birth, since 800 women globally die in childbirth every day.

In terms of International Health Policy, there is an emphasis on measures not learned during Covid, as global politicians seem to move away from fundamental concerns such as equitable access to vaccines and greater transparency. Alcoholism is a serious and very common disease in the USA, causing around 140,000 alcohol-related deaths each year in that country. It seems that the new medications (Ozempic, Wegovby) now used for obesity may also be useful in alcoholism, by curbing consumption. In the NHS the waiting list continues to grow, reaching historic record levels, which contrasts with Prime Minister Sunak’s promises. Serious problem for the Nigerian government to retain its doctors, since six out of ten intend to emigrate in search of better opportunities. Eurostat publishes the most frequent surgical interventions in Europe. Caesarean sections and cataracts, the most frequent interventions.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), covid infections skyrocket due to the drop in immunity. Spain has 100 million vaccines not adapted to the new strains. However, the public health commission recommends the use of adapted vaccines. Problem for Spain, since these vaccines not prepared for the new strains cannot be sold or donated. Spain takes 780 days to supply the new medications. Apart from the 629 days recognized in the WAIT report, from the time the drug is approved by the EMA until the price and public financing are approved in Spain, another five months must be added for approval by the autonomous communities and it would even be necessary to add delays due to approval by hospital commissions. Cosmetic surgery operations have increased rapidly in Spain in recent years.

In the field of Companies, at the international level, the Strasbourg plenary session supports the plasma law that favors Grifols. At the national level, private hospitals (ASPE) take the Sanitas and Generali alliance to court. Ferrer and Almirall, with very good prospects.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International health policy

  • Mexico
    • Abortion, not criminalized in Mexico. The decision of the Supreme Court to reject the law that criminalized abortion opens the door to its legalization, increasing the liberalization of abortion in Latin America (https://www.bmj.com/content/382/bmj.p2060)

National health policy

Companies

 

 

 

 

7 days in healthcare (June 12th-18th, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, to point out that human embryos have been produced without eggs or sperm, using stem cells, which raises far-reaching ethical questions. Joseph Alpert, editor of the American Journal of Medicine, recounts the 10 advances in clinical medicine he has seen since he was an intern in 1969-70. A whole different world, from the mortality of myocardial infarction, the evolution of HIV, the approach to leukemia, the possibilities offered by ICUs, the treatment of tuberculosis, etc. From that point of view, there is no doubt that the world is better than fifty years ago.

As regards Global Health, an unexplained increase in the incidence of cancer has been detected in people under 50 years of age, with this trend particularly affecting the population between 25-29 years of age. The Lancet denounces what it considers pressure from the pharmaceutical industry in the pandemic treaty, currently under discussion at the initiative of the WHO, according to a draft that was leaked on May 22 and published. It would be good if this treaty corrected the major failures that occurred during the covid pandemic in access to vaccines in developing countries, particularly in Africa.

Regarding International Health Policy, according to the weekly WHO report, covid is declining in both the number of cases and deaths in all regions of the world. Forecasts of health spending in the USA are published. Although growth will be moderate in the coming years, it will reach 20% of GDP in 2023, more than any country in the world. The National Oncology Plan in Italy is published. The European Monitoring Center for Drugs publishes its report for 2023. Cannabis, followed by cocaine, are the most widely used illegal drugs in Europe.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the incidence of covid is decreasing, which makes the government consider removing the mandatory use of masks in pharmacies and health centers. Madrid, the autonomous community with the shortest waiting list for non-urgent surgery. Although our country has a low birth rate, the use of in vitro fertilization is skyrocketing.

At the Business level, internationally, Philips has serious problems with faulty respirators. A collective accuses this company of involuntary manslaughter. The 10 largest pharmaceutical companies have more than 110,000 million dollars available for operations to purchase other companies, a move that is undoubtedly spurred on by the loss of patents in many of them. Lobbyists linked to tobacco companies are accused of advertising vaping online, against the recommendations of the WHO, with many reservations about this practice, considering it harmful to health. On a national level, Quirón presents its new hospital project in Badalona. Grifols will refinance its debt after divesting from its business in China. Asterion, the largest Spanish fund, breaks into health, by buying a health transport company.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

  • Europe
    • The European Monitoring Center for Drugs publishes the report on Drugs 2023: Trends and development. Cannabis (marijuana or hashish) is the most widely used illicit drug in Europe, followed by cocaine. Heroin is the most widely used opioid and the one that causes the most health problems (https://www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/european-drug-report/2023_en)

National Health Policy

Companies

7 days in healthcare (February 20th-26th, 2023)

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, perhaps the most striking thing is that it is the 90th anniversary of the first transplant in humans, which took place in Kherson (Ukraine), a city that is so topical today due to the Russian invasion. It was a kidney transplant to a 26-year-old woman.

As regards Global Health, an important report on maternal mortality published by the United Nations. There is no decrease in frequency in recent years. Globally, 800 maternal deaths occur every day, a staggering figure. Cholera emerges globally, with outbreaks already in 30 countries, which indicates serious problems in water management and in the sanitary and hygienic conditions of the population.

Regarding International Health Policy, it seems that, despite the large outbreak of covid that occurred in China, after the abandonment of the covid-zero policy, this has not generated new variants of the virus. In the United Kingdom, conflicts persist in the NHS, with junior doctors joining the strikes. Important division in Colombia before the new health reform promoted by President Petro.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the cumulative incidence of covid continues to rise slightly, although mortality is decreasing. The medical conflict continues, both in Madrid and in other communities. The cost of putting a personal assistant to each Primary Care doctor is evaluated: 505 million euros. It’s a lot of money, but it’s possibly part of the solution. The pharmaceutical sector, with a large rise in 2022, consolidates as a large export sector in Spain.

At the Business level, internationally, Apple about to develop a smart watch that can detect blood glucose level, which can change diabetes management. Big Pharma is resisting at the international level that patents are expiring and giving way to generics, as reported by the Financial Times. It seems that Fresenius is going to concentrate on the area of hospitals and generics. In principle, the rumors of the possible sale of Quirón and the preparation of several private equity companies for this operation are dissipated. In Spain, significant increase in sales of Korian, Quirón and Asisa. BUPA and Mapfre alliance to sell certain insurance in some Latin American countries.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

National health policy

Companies

 

 

7 days in healthcare (December 12th-18th, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, The Lancet commemorates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Pasteur, the creator of the germ theory. Even today a high percentage of deaths are from infections. Promising results of an mRNA vaccine against melanoma, presented by Moderna and Merck.

As far as Global Health is concerned, it is worth highlighting the article published in Nature that says that without a strategy and global financing of vaccines, the world will be unable to successfully face new epidemics.

As for international health policy, the discouraging news of China’s abandonment of the covid-zero policy continues, when the country is not prepared and is most likely to suffer high mortality. The CDC quantifies the deaths from persistent covid in the USA. The conflict of nurses in the NHS continues, which coincides with the appearance of a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies in the United Kingdom that attributes the problems of the NHS to underfunding of the system. New Zealand, the second country in the world to announce a ban on tobacco sales.

If we talk about national health policy (Spain), in terms of covid, the incidence continues to decrease, what has not completely decreased, or has decreased very slowly, is mortality (236 deaths in the last week). After confinement in a unit of the Regional Ministry of Health, the strike committee of primary care doctors in Madrid decided to continue the strike, extending the conflict to a demonstration, along the lines of the “white tides”.

In the field of companies, internationally, it seems that Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are making an important bet in the field of neurotechnology with the company Synchron. As far as national news is concerned, perhaps highlighting that it seems that the hopes placed on the Spanish HIPRA vaccine are fading.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

National health policy

Companies

 

 

 

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

 

Summary

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.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

National health policy

Companies

  • 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 (https://www.economist.com/ 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 (https://www.ft.com/content/f28e8ca1-87a7-4c14-8b05-0ead0e831c0f)

 

 

7 days in healthcare (June 20th-26th, 2022)

Summary

From the point of view of biomedicine, to highlight the article in The Lancet that shows that the covid vaccine has saved 20 million lives in the first year of its use.

As far as Global Health is concerned, it is confirmed that covid 19 may be wreaking havoc in North Korea.

Regarding international health policy, it should be noted that the WHO has decided not to declare monkeypox an international health emergency. Strong rise in the incidence of COVID throughout Europe. Controversial annulment in the United States of the Roe v Wade ruling that declared abortion a constitutional right. Now abortion will have to be regulated by the States. Serious public health problems are expected, as in the pre-Roe v Wade era, although mitigated by the widespread use of the abortion pill, which can even be purchased online. For the first time in the history of the United States, an agreement is reached to limit, albeit in a very limited way, the use of weapons, with President Biden having signed a law in this regard. Instead, the Constitutional Court declared illegal any limitation on the display of weapons in public, as some States had legislated. More Americans are dying from drug overdoses than ever before. The European Medicines Agency approves the Valneva covid vaccine, the sixth covid vaccine approved in Europe (after Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, J&J and Novavax).

If we talk about national health policy (Spain), we are witnessing a growth in the incidence of covid, some speak of a seventh wave. Published in the Official Bulletin of the Congress of Deputies the project of equity law. Important statement from the Consorci Sanitari de Catalunya saying that more than the management model, we must focus on quality and results. The National Market and Competition Commission (CNMC) publishes a report on wholesale pharmaceutical distribution, which is considered a boost to the use of generics and biosimilars.

In the field of companies, it should be noted that Alphabet (Google’s parent company) is making a strong investment to become a powerhouse in health. Its fields of action will be: wearables, clinical records, artificial intelligence applied to health and extension of human longevity. The medical marijuana business is making its way.

Biomedicine

Global health

International health policy

National health policy

Companies

 

7 days in healthcare (May 9th-15th, 2022)

 

Summary

From the point of view of biomedicine, the important study published by the journal Science should be highlighted, outlining the most detailed atlas of human cells to date. The discussion about the origin of acute childhood hepatitis continues.

As far as Global Health is concerned, it is found that the United States has reached one million deaths from COVID and Europe two million. A sad milestone.

Regarding international health policy, in relation to COVID, the debate continues on the sustainability of the zero-COVID policy in China. Lockdowns in North Korea, possibly the most opaque country in the world. The debate continues in the United States on the modification of the Roe v Wade sentence. Pronouncements from scientific journals (Nature, The Lancet), as well as from the President of the American Medical Association. The ECDC (European Center for Disease Prevention and Control) stops recommending the use of masks on public transport in Europe.

If we talk about national health policy (Spain), the accumulated incidence of COVID continues to grow. Great debate regarding the announced new Abortion Law. It is more than doubtful that the Law will be approved and, if it is, that it will be complied with, given the large number of controversial elements (registration of conscientious objectors, the obligation that these interventions be carried out in public hospitals, the use of terminology of obstetric violence, etc.). The Ministry of Industry takes out the first tender of the cutting-edge health PERTE. Important editorial in El País on waiting lists, which it presents as a scourge of the SNS.

In the field of companies, the WHO denounces attempts to whiten tobacco companies, by way of presenting themselves as green companies.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International health policy

  • COVID-19

o The Director of the WHO affirms that the zero-covid policy in China is not sustainable (https://www.ft.com/content/9b81b9f0-e13d-4b0a-8bdf-91c97c7d61e7)

o A study says that lifting the “zero COVID” policy in China could mean 1.5 million deaths (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/11/lifting-zero-covid-policies-in -china-could-risk-16m-deaths-says-study)

o China considers the WHO statement on its zero COVID policy “irresponsible” (https://www.ft.com/content/2e20867b-5f1d-4307-93b0-1d9b07d65e34)

o China renounces organizing the 2023 Asian Soccer Cup, due to the pandemic (https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2022/05/14/la-chine-renonce-a-organiser-la- coupe-d-asie-2023-de-football-in-raison-de-la-pandemie-de-covid-19_6126096_3210.html)

o Confinement in North Korea, as the first cases of COVID are confirmed (https://www.ft.com/content/41dec58c-3860-4ae3-86c4-716ffe85dbdd)

o Alert in the state of New York, due to the increase in cases (https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/05/13/world/covid-19-mandates-vaccine-cases)

  • The debate on abortion continues in the United States

o The pronouncement of medical and scientific journals continues against the annulment of the Roe v Wade ruling in the United States, for reasons of public health and worsening of the health of women and children, particularly those with fewer resources. Editorials in Nature (https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-01249-2) and The Lancet (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(22) 00870-4/fulltext), among others.

o Gerald E. Harmon, President of the AMA, the representation of American doctors, was “deeply concerned” about the impact on reproductive health in the United States of this possible modification (https://www.ama-assn.org/ delivering-care/population-care/why-leaked-abortion-opinion-antithetical-public-health)

o The New York Times assures that the annulment of same-sex marriage could be the next step (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/11/us/politics/roe-wade-supreme-court- abortion.html)

o Certain groups try to ban telemedicine prescription of pills that interrupt pregnancy (https://www.ft.com/content/6a3dd70e-8bb9-4727-af4a-4036a660db64)

  • Other themes

o The United States, willing to share vaccine technology with poor countries, says Biden (https://www.ft.com/content/ec6b5b3a-7cff-4aa9-8e68-cba3bbaae06f)

o The European Union Aviation Safety Agency and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), eliminate the recommendation to use masks in airports and during flights (https://www.larazon.es/ society/20220511/2dur4ogv7zemfkl5bbwmsitpme.html)

o Disposable electronic cigarettes are imposed among adolescents in France (https://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2022/05/08/les-cigarettes-electroniques-jetables-s-imposent-parmi-les-adolescents_6125199_3224 .html)

o France will stop requiring a mask on public transport starting next Monday, May 16 (https://www.expansion.com/economia/2022/05/12/627ccd8e468aeb71118b4611.html)

National health policy

  • COVID

o The accumulated incidence continues to rise, growing 13 points since the last measurement and standing at 856.65 cases in the last 14 days per 100,000 inhabitants. The ward occupancy rate is 5.80% and the ICU occupancy rate is 4.07% (https://www.consalud.es/pacientes/especial-coronavirus/covid-19-espana-suma-31036-casos- 321-deceased-ia-uploads-856-points_114645_102.html)

  • Regulatory announcements

o The Government willing to approve next Tuesday, May 17, a new abortion law at the initiative of the Ministry of Equality. The 14-week period for abortion to be considered legal is not modified. Most controversial points: 1. Without permission or information to parents from the age of 16; 2. No to surrogacy; 3. Registration of conscientious objectors; 4. Abortion in public hospitals; 5. Leave due to painful menstruation, outside the regulations of the common disease; 6. The terminology of obstetric violence is maintained (https://www.abc.es/sociedad/abci-no-reforma-sino-ley-aborto-ultima-gobierno-diez-claves-rapidas-202205111920_noticia.html)

o The need to strengthen public healthcare so that it can address the 74,000 abortions that are performed in the private sector (https://elpais.com/sociedad/2022-05-14/la-sanidad-publica-debera-reforzarse-para-asumir -the-74000-abortions-that-now-derives-to-the-private.html)

o The Constitutional Court is preparing a ruling in favor of the 2010 Abortion Law for June, after an appeal by the PP, parked for 12 years (https://www.elconfidencial.com/espana/2022-05-13/constitucional-junio -judgment-favorable-law-abortion_3423623/)

  • Other themes

o The Ministry of Industry is putting out to tender the Vanguard Health PERTE for the pharmaceutical and health products sector (https://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2022/05/07/pdfs/BOE-B-2022-14280 .pdf)

o Important editorial in El País on waiting lists, which it presents as a major problem for the SNS (https://elpais.com/opinion/2022-05-10/largas-listas-de-espera.html)

o War of figures in the strike of medical specialists in Madrid (https://elpais.com/espana/madrid/2022-05-10/primer-dia-de-huelga-indefinida-de-medicos-en-madrid-basta -already-of-temporary.html)

o Castilla y León intends to lower the surgical delay in six months by 21 days (https://www.diariofarma.com/2022/05/11/castilla-y-leon-objetivo-bajar-21-dias-la-demora -surgical-in-6-months)

o The national 024 telephone line for suicide prevention is launched (https://www.larazon.es/sociedad/20220509/cubyq6iicncg3nfm6hieltpxvy.html)

o The SNS Interterritorial Council gives the green light to the Mental Health Plan (https://www.diariofarma.com/2022/05/11/el-cisns-da-luz-verde-al-plan-de-salud-mental -con-practica-unanimidad), which is criticized by the President of the Spanish Society of Psychiatry, saying that “Mental Health needs professionals and intermediate centers, not apps” (https://www.redaccionmedica.com/secciones/psiquiatria /-mental-health-needs-professionals-and-intermediate-centers-no-apps–8807)

o The Ministry publishes the list of 462 strategic medicines, which includes 249 active ingredients (https://www.diariomedico.com/farmacia/industria/estos-son-los-462-medicamentos-estrategicos-para-el-sns. html)

o Private doctors ask insurers to raise their fees, which according to them have been frozen for 32 years (https://theobjective.com/economia/2022-05-15/medicos-privados-honorarios/)

o Andalusia can have up to 8 Faculties of Medicine, after the steps in Jaén and Almería only Huelva remains (https://www.redaccionmedica.com/bisturi/-ocho-facultades-de-medicina-en-una-misma-region –3332), something (the proliferation of Medical Faculties) totally against the approaches of the CEEM (State Confederation of Medical Students) and the Conference of Deans

Companies, employers and other agents of the sector

  • International News

o The WHO asks countries to stop the tobacco companies that try to whitewash their image as a green industry (https://elpais.com/clima-y-medio-ambiente/2022-05-13/la-oms-pide- to-the-countries-that-stop-the-tobacco- companies-that-try-to-clean-up-their-image-as-a-green-industry.html)

o Pfizer will buy the biotech company Biohaven for 11.6 billion dollars (https://www.ft.com/content/ea9bb9bc-b5ec-4278-ab42-1f5f14a1a76f)

  • National News

o Vithas invests 3 million euros in the renovation of emergencies (https://www.plantadoce.com/empresa/vithas-madrid-la-milagrosa-invierte-tres-millones-de-euros-en-la-renovacion- of-your-emergencies.html)

o Vitaldent is committed to dental aesthetics by incorporating 73 Smysecret spaces into its clinics (https://www.plantadoce.com/empresa/vitaldent-apuesta-por-la-estetica-dental-e-incorpora-73-espacios-smysecret-a -your-clinics.html)

o Asisa buys a 600m2 center in Zaragoza (https://www.ondacero.es/programas/en-buenas-manos/asisa-compra-centro-medico-600-zaragoza_20220510627a3bbc64c3c90001106b03.html)

o Hospitales Parque grows in Talavera with a new building for outpatient consultations (https://www.plantadoce.com/empresa/hospitales-parque-crece-en-talavera-de-la-reina-con-un-nuevo-edificio- for-external-queries.html)

o Sanitas, SegurCaixa Adeslas and Línea Directa, the most profitable insurers (https://www.expansion.com/empresas/banca/2022/05/09/627567d7e5fdea58068b45f4.html)

o Novartis will manufacture an oncology drug for the whole world in Barcelona (https://www.eleconomista.es/salud/noticias/11765483/05/22/Novartis-fabricara-en-Zaragoza-un-oncologico-para-todo-el -world-.html)

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

 

Summary

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.

Biomedicine

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 (https://www.economist.com/leaders/2022/04/30/chinas-martial-rhetoric-will-not-help-it-defeat- covid), while the global economic implications of the closure of Shanghai persist, the largest port in the world (https://www.epe.es/es/internacional/20220429/estrategia-covid-cero-china-dessolucion-inflacion-13586353)

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 (https://www.ft.com/content/33b7fcb2-bc88- 4a76-9b81-d561deaabc5c)

o Covid cases on the rise in virtually all of the United States (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/29/world/coronavirus-cases-us.html)

  • Other issues

o The FDA, about to ban menthol cigarettes. They are the most used among the black population (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/28/health/menthol-ban-fda.html)

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 (https://www.economist.com/britain/2022/04/28/the-nhs-is-in-seriously-poor-shape)

National health policy (Spain)

  • COVID

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 (https://www.consalud.es/pacientes/especial-coronavirus/covid-19-espana-notifica-62695-casos-229- 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 (https://www.elespanol.com/ciencia/salud/20220430/sanidad-notifica-muertes-primer-completo- 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) (https://www.elespanol.com/ciencia/salud/20220428 /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 (https://www.lavanguardia.com/vida/20220425/8219507/sanidad-autorizara- 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 (https://www.diariofarma.com/2022/04/28/el-congreso-desestima-la-ley-de-publicidad-sanitaria-del-pp)

  • Other issues

o Madrid hospital doctors go on strike over temporary contracts (https://www.epe.es/es/sanidad/20220429/medicos-hospitales-madrid-huelga-contratos-temporales-13587639)

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 (https://elpais.com/espana/madrid/2022-04-30/la-temporalidad-de-los-medicos-es-el-resultado -of-a-bad-system-worse-governed.html)

o Cases of severe hepatitis in children in Spain rise to 22 (https://www.lavanguardia.com/vida/20220429/8233030/hepatitis-aguda-ascienden-22-casos-espana.html)

o 700,000 Spaniards on the surgical waiting list, the worst figure in the history of public healthcare (https://www.elespanol.com/espana/20220501/espanoles-lista-espera-quirurgica-historia-sanidad-publica/668683270_0. html)

o Núñez Feijóo calls for the creation of the emergency specialty, with the argument of preventing primary care professionals from leaving (https://www.consalud.es/autonomias/galicia/feijoo-pide-creacion-urgencias_113617_102.html)

o Facme presents the Spanish recertification model (https://www.diariofarma.com/2022/04/22/facme-presenta-el-programa-espanol-de-recertificacion)

o Five communities (Extremadura, Aragón, Baleares, Comunidad Valenciana and Navarra) ask AIReF to evaluate their healthcare and pharmaceutical spending (https://www.diariofarma.com/2022/04/26/cinco-ccaa-piden-a- 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)

Companies

  • International News

o Possible disruptive changes for the pharmaceutical industry (http://gestionclinicavarela.blogspot.com/2022/04/aires-de-disrupcion-en-la-industria.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email): volumetric 3D printing that would allow drugs to be “manufactured” in a clinical setting (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2214860422000781) and Amazon Prime’s offer to facilitate basic drugs for $1 a month (https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/amazon-pharmacy-offers-half-yearly-prescriptions-starting-6-2021-06-08/)

o Roche sales soar in the United States due to the demand for covid tests (https://www.ft.com/content/ed5f4f64-4fa6-4663-bc75-8860bb1ad997)

o Investors pressure Nestlé and Kraft Heinz to target health (https://www.ft.com/content/545651c2-c408-4cad-b724-698ed896ee89)

o Philips records losses of 151 million euros in the first quarter of 2022 (https://www.plantadoce.com/empresa/philips-registra-unas-perdidas-de-151-millones-de-euros-en-el -first-quarter-of-2022.html)

o Abbie strengthens its neurosciences portfolio and acquires Syndesis Therapeutics (https://www.plantadoce.com/empresa/abbvie-strengthens-its-neurosciences-portfolio-and-acquires-syndesi-therapeutics.html)

  • National News

o Lácer attracts the interest of venture capital funds (https://www.expansion.com/empresas/distribucion/2022/04/29/626afa0de5fdeaa9578b45a2.html)

o Grifols closes the purchase operation of its German rival Biotest (https://cincodias.elpais.com/cincodias/2022/04/25/companias/1650876940_315447.html)

o Faes Farma profit grows 24% thanks to licenses and the Latin American market (https://www.eleconomista.es/pais_vasco/noticias/11743403/04/22/El-beneficio-de-Faes-Farma-crece -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 (https://www.plantadoce.com/empresa/senniors-desembarca-en-abu-dabi-con-el-apoyo-del-fondo-soberano-del -country.html)

o Quirónsalud launches a new rehabilitation center in Ronda de Triana (https://www.plantadoce.com/empresa/quironsalud-pone-en-marcha-un-nuevo-centro-de-rehabilitacion-en-ronda-de -triana.html)

o Hospitales Parque (CASER) accelerates in 2021 and raises its income by 46%, up to 58 million euros (https://www.plantadoce.com/empresa/hospitales-parque-acelera-en-2021-y-eleva-un -46-your-income-up-to-58-million-euros.html)

o Asisa strengthens Otoaudio and opens its first center in Seville (https://www.plantadoce.com/empresa/asisa-refuerza-otoaudio-y-abre-su-primer-centro-en-sevilla.html)

o Asisa Dental opens its first own clinic in the Canary Islands in Las Palmas (https://www.consalud.es/ecsalud/nacional/asisa-dental-abre-palmas-clinica-canarias_113952_102.html)

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 days in healthcare (February 28-Mars 6, 2022)

 

SUMMARY

From the point of view of biomedicine, the approach (apparently possible) of obtaining a vaccine for the next pandemic in 100 days stands out, compared to 10 years of previous situations and the year of COVID 19. Concern, according to an editorial in The Lancet, for depression, which is estimated to affect one billion people in the world. The WHO warns about the high figures of obesity: 650 million adults, 340 million adolescents and 39 million children. Great hopes in the combination of gene therapy and xenotransplantation, with great impact on the future of transplants.

Regarding global health, the great concern is the health consequences of the war in Ukraine and the WHO calls for the creation of a safe corridor to carry medical supplies. Pharmaceutical companies plan to manufacture 2.9 billion COVID vaccines in Africa.

Regarding international health policy, it should be noted that, according to experts, billions of dollars are needed to prevent the next pandemic.

As far as national health policy is concerned, it should be noted that the incidence of COVID is falling, although more slowly than a few weeks ago, and the mortality rate remains high (more than 150 deaths per day). The (official) deaths from COVID already exceed 100,000 in Spain. The Ministry plans to give the COVID data twice a week, instead of the current daily frequency (except weekends). Great collaboration in medical supplies and supply of beds by Spain in the face of the tragedy in Ukraine.

If we talk about companies, we would highlight the information from FENIN that Catalonia manufactures more than 35% of the health technology produced in Spain. Also the important investment in Barcelona by Novartis in an antibiotic center.

BIOMEDICINE

GLOBAL HEALTH

INTERNATIONAL HEALTH POLICY

NATIONAL HEALTH POLICY (SPAIN)

  • COVID

o The incidence of COVID drops to 463 per 100,000 inhabitants, but the decreases are smaller than in previous weeks and the figure of more than 150 deaths per day continues (https://www.consalud.es/pacientes/especial-coronavirus/covid-19-espana-registra-22400-casos-174-muertes-ia-desciende-463-puntos_111057_102.html)

o 100,000 (official) deaths from COVID in Spain (https://www.redaccionmedica.com/secciones/sanidad-hoy/espana-supera-los-100-000-muertos-por-covid-desde-el-inicio-de-la-pandemia-7926)

o The Ministry of Health will give COVID data twice a week instead of daily (https://www.elconfidencial.com/espana/2022-03-02/sanidad-pasara-dar-datos-covid-dos-veces-por-semana-en-lugar-de-a-diario_3384902/)

  • Political announcements

o The bill project amending the National Security Law is published (https://www.congreso.es/public_oficiales/L14/CONG/BOCG/A/BOCG-14-A-91-1.PDF)

o The bill project amending the Law on Science, Technology and Innovation is published (https://www.congreso.es/public_oficiales/L14/CONG/BOCG/A/BOCG-14-A-92-1.PDF)

  • Other issues

o Catalonia wants to extend pharmacological abortion up to 14 weeks (https://elpais.com/espana/catalunya/2022-03-02/cataluna-quiere-ampliar-el-aborto-farmacologico-hasta-las-14-semanas.html)

o Spain will send more than 20 tons of medicines and medical supplies to Ukraine (https://www.elindependiente.com/espana/2022/02/26/espana-enviara-20-tonadas-de-medicinas-y-material-sanitario -to-ukraine/)

o The autonomous communities offer 3,000 beds to care for the victims of Ukraine (https://www.elespanol.com/espana/politica/20220227/ccaa-ofrecen-hospitalarias-acoger-victimas-invasion-ukrania/653434701_0.html)

o Spain joins the health PERTE at European level (https://www.lamoncloa.gob.es/serviciosdeprensa/notasprensa/industria/Paginas/2022/030322-ipceisalud.aspx)

COMPANIES, EMPLOYERS AND OTHER AGENTS IN THE SECTOR

 

 

7 days in healthcare (January 17-23, 2022)

 

SUMMARY

From an international point of view, the article published in The Lancet should be highlighted, in which mortality due to antimicrobial resistance, one of the most important causes of death in the world, is analyzed at a global level. Also the demand of the British Medical Journal that the scientific community have access to all the original data on the clinical trials of vaccines, since at this time these data are only accessible to employees of pharmaceutical companies. The Economist analyzes if the mandatory nature of the vaccine works, concluding that it does. It looks like all the COVID restrictions in England are going to end soon. The European Union gives more powers to the EMA, in case of having to manage future health crises.

As for the national news, the pandemic is still unchecked, in very high numbers and with high mortality; the debate on treating the covid as influenza continues, with opposing positions, those who are against it and those who defend it; the Ministry of Health wants to advance in the recertification, in dialogue with the FACME and the Organization of Medical Orders; The situation of health insurance in 2021 is presented, which did not stop growing, until the sector as a whole reached a turnover of close to 10,000 million euros; the Madrid College of Physicians signs a controversial agreement with UNIPROMEL, in theory to “defend doctors in free practice”, but, more possibly, with the intention of reinforcing the current weakened board of directors.

As far as companies are concerned, perhaps the most outstanding news is the sale by IBM of Watson Health, the artificial intelligence solution, designed to solve diagnostic and therapeutic problems, which had had so many problems in some centers such as MD Anderson from Houston. Although it was a good and ambitious idea, it was possibly ruined by short-termism, hyperselling and not taking enough into account the complexities of medicine and medical practice.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • The Lancet publishes an article on the mortality of antimicrobial resistance. 204 countries and territories are analyzed in 2019. 4.95 million deaths from antimicrobial resistance were found in 2019. Antimicrobial resistance is one of the most important causes of death in the world (The Lancet, 20 January 22)
  • The British Medical Journal, after the Tamiflu experience, asks that the original data (raw data) from the clinical trials of vaccines be accessible to all researchers, not just those from the pharmaceutical industry, as is the case now (BMJ, January 19, 22)
  • The WHO gives the green light to the wider use of the third dose against COVID (FT, January 21, 22)
  • The fourth dose of the vaccine, infective in the extension of the “ómicron” variant, according to an Israeli study (FT, January 18, 22)
  • The Economist analyzes if the compulsory nature of the vaccine works. After analyzing the cases of Canada, France, Italy and Germany, he concludes that it works (The Economist, January 22, 22)
  • The covid passport strengthens the economy and vaccination (FT, January 18, 22)
  • Bill Gates warns against a pandemic potentially worse than COVID and calls on governments to spend billions of dollars to prevent it. He also says that this effort can contribute to improving the prevention and treatment of current extended diseases: HIV, tuberculosis, malaria (FT, January 19, 22)
  • All restrictions in England may end in March, according to the British Prime Minister’s plans (The Guardian, 17 January 22)
  • The EU approves the reform that gives more powers to the EMA in the management of future health crises (The Objective, 20 January 22)
  • Italy registers an increase in vaccination, after making it mandatory for those over 50 years of age (El País, January 17, 22)

NATIONAL NEWS

  • Situation of the pandemic

o COVID, still unchecked, breaks a new record of 3,418 cases per 100,000 inhabitants (El País, January 21, 22)

o The ICUs are at the limit of their structural capacity but far from the worst moments (El País, January 17, 22)

  • Debate about dealing with the covid as if were “flu”

o Two opposing positions:

 “Gripalizing the covid or how to believe we are winners”, article by Santiago Cervera, January 15, 22)

 Antonio Zapatero is committed to self-care and not to restrictions (El Español, January 17, 22)

  • Sick leave

o Processed 21,000 sick leaves and registrations in Madrid in the first days of the new system (El País, January 20, 22)

o The doctors accuse Escrivá of violating the law with the casualties, by giving in the same act for 7 days (La Razón, January 17, 22)

  • Recertification

o The Ministry of Health commits with FACME and the WTO to promote professional recertification (Acta Sanitaria, January 21, 22)

  • Situation schools

o The avalanche of school confinements puts families on the ropes (El País, January 21, 22)

  • Health insurance

o Health insurance grows by 4.93% in 2021 and totals 9,849 million euros (Acta Sanitaria, January 18, 22)

o According to forecasts by Javier Murillo, health insurance will grow in 2022 by around 5.5-6% (presentation at ICEA)

o MJ Montero (Finance Minister): great support for the MUFACE system (MUFACE Magazine, nº 252, winter 2021)

  • Other issues

o Organ transplants overcome the slump of 2020 and grow 8% in 2021 (El País, January 21, 22)

o Argimón presents the 2021-2025 health plan (Consalud, January 20, 22)

o Health, forced by Transparency to deliver to Farmaindustria the minutes of the Pharmacy Commission of the Interterritorial Council (diariofarma, January 16, 22)

o The MIR exam will bring together candidates from 4 continents and 88 countries (redacción Médica, January 20, 22)

o The Madrid College of Physicians signs an agreement with UNIPROMEL, “to defend free practice physicians” (Official Note ICOMEM, January 21, 22)

o Health awards 81 linear accelerators, in compliance with the INVEAT plan, three lots: Ab Salud, Varian and Elekta (ConSalud, January 18, 22)

COMPANIES, EMPLOYERS AND MAIN ACTORS IN HEALTH

  • IBM sells Watson Health to an investment firm. The sale was preceded by resounding failures of this artificial intelligence tool for medical diagnosis and treatment (WSJ, January 21, 22)
  • Moderna intends to launch a joint COVID-flu vaccine in two years (The Guardian, January 17, 22)
  • Djokovic has 80% of the shares in a Danish biotech firm (QuantBioRes) that intends to release a vaccine against COVID (The Guardian, January 19, 22)
  • Pfizer becomes the largest provider of the pandemic and it is estimated that it will double its income (eldiario.es, January 17, 22)
  • Pfizer, AstraZeneca and the Chinese Sinopharm and Sinovac will manufacture 70% of the COVID vaccines (CincoDías, January 20, 22)
  • Merck entrusts the manufacture of its pill against COVID to 27 manufacturers (PlantaDoce, January 20, 22)
  • More than 100 laboratories in Asia and Africa could manufacture vaccines for Pfizer and Moderna (El Independiente, January 19, 22)
  • The “telecos” take advantage of the pandemic to add clients in telemedicine (El Independiente, January 19, 22)
  • AstraZeneca, the most widely used COVID vaccine in the world that is no longer administered in Spain (El Español, January 21, 22)
  • St John of God (important hospital network in Spain, until now divided into three “provinces”) consolidates its management structure at the national level (Acta Sanitaria, January 20, 22)
  • Acciona, Sacyr and OHLA bid for a new hospital in Chile for 265 million euros (PlantaDoce, January 16, 22)
  • Dental Residency, objective by 2022 to double billing and provide coverage to 250,000 residents (PlantaDoce, January 20, 22)
  • The EMA asks HIPRA to show greater efficiency than Pfizer, if it wants to be part of the European Union’s portfolio (El Economista, January 18, 22)
  • HIPRA will carry out the last clinical trial of its vaccine at HM Hospitals (El Economista, January 17, 22).
  • Viamed is preparing an offer for one of the “Catholic” hospitals in Madrid: San Francisco and Beata María Ana (Sanifax, January 21, 22)
  • ASISA renews its Board of Directors with three members, one internal and two independent directors (Europa Press, January 20, 22)
  • Mercadona offered the Government to sell tests in its establishments at 2.90 euros. The Government preferred to keep pharmacies as the only test point of sale (Sanifax, January 20, 22)
  • Lilly publishes an overview of start ups in health in Spain (Lilly, January 22)