Posts

7 days in healthcare (February 19th-25th, 2024)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, the mega-study of 250,000 genomes made public by the National Health Institutes of the USA stands out. This is in line with carrying out genome studies combining it with electronic medical record data from very large groups initiated in the United Kingdom by Genomics England and also developed in Iceland and Japan. A very promising way to improve knowledge of many diseases. New treatments for type 1 diabetes, based on the transplant of insulin-producing beta cells, obtained from stem cells, neutralizing the immune reaction. Gene therapy is the great promise for many rare diseases, currently without treatment. The problem to be solved is the high price of the treatments. At the present time, saying breast or prostate cancer is almost saying nothing. The treatment of tumors is no longer based on their anatomical origin, but rather on their molecular characterization. Bispecific antibodies that act on two targets at the same time, useful in hematological and solid tumors. The FDA approves a drug to prevent the amputation of fingers and limbs.

As far as Global Health is concerned, long covid was understood as a sequel to covid, but an article in The Economist states that covid is not the only infectious disease that leaves pathological conditions that are difficult to label. An article in Health Affairs places the solution to the obesity epidemic as a joint effort of prevention and treatment.

In terms of International Health Policy, more than half of USA’s rural hospitals do not offer childbirth services, which means that pregnant women have to be treated in centers located 30-40 minutes from their home, sometimes more. This is related to the high maternal and infant mortality in the USA, higher than that of most developed countries. The 4th anniversary of Brexit encourages the debate about whether it was good or bad for the National Health Service. The truth is that the NHS is worse now than before Brexit (waiting lists, professional strikes, etc.) and the difficulty of recruiting health professionals from the EU has increased. The investigation was also damaged. Increasing funding for the NHS was one of the arguments used by Brexiteers. France addresses the carbon footprint in the health system, within the general “France Nation Verte” program. Germany legalizes recreational cannabis, with one of the most liberal laws in Europe, after Malta and Luxembourg. More than controversial attempt in Germany to take control of non-communicable diseases from the Robert Koch Institute, one of the most prestigious organizations in German health, to give it to another organization, created as a result of covid. The European Medicines Agency recommends approving a drug against ALS.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), as a result of a specific scandal, the entire problem of purchasing masks and other materials during covid is introduced into the national debate. Precisely everything related to the purchase of these materials was somewhat overlooked by the report “Evaluation of the Performance of the Spanish National Health System in the face of the covid-19 pandemic”, dated April 30, 2023, although published by the Ministry of Health in December of that year. It is already serious that an issue such as the problems of purchasing materials are not analyzed in the report, as if this had not been one of the most serious problems in the management of covid. The PNV requests the return of the text of the Public Health Agency law. That this law was going to have problems with the nationalist parties, always opposed to the creation of cohesion bodies in the National Health System, was something known. Surely this will mean delays in the appearance of the law and, what may be more serious, affect its content and functions. There is a risk that the announced Agency will be little more than an empty shell. The government creates the Extreme Temperature Observatory to analyze the health impact of climate change. The Basque Country approves a new Mental Health Plan 2023-2028. The EU denounces the high level of interim contracts in the Spanish public health system. At the current time, 43% of contracts are interim.

As for Companies, internationally, AstraZeneca reveals successes in the treatment of lung cancer. Indian drugmakers make versions of Novo Nordisk’s anti-obesity drug. At the national level, Sanitas intends to open a new hospital in Barcelona. Fever of construction of private hospitals in Valencia: Vithas, Quirón, IMED and Ascires in that race.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International health policy

  • United Kingdom and the National Health Service
    • Brexit and health. January 31, 2024 was celebrated as the 4th anniversary of the United Kingdom’s effective departure from the European Union. The Lancet asks whether or not that was good for the NHS, with two possible answers: the easy one, which says there is no evidence; and the difficult one, which confirms that the NHS is in fact worse now than before, as demonstrated by the long waiting lists and the continuous strikes by health professionals. What is certain is that it has become difficult to recruit doctors from the EU. At present, the majority of foreign doctors hired in the NHS are from outside the EU. Research plans were also negatively altered. (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(24)00157-0/abstract)
    • The government changes its policy and plans to double the number of medical students in 2031 (https://ground.news/article/government-u-turn-on-plans-to-double-number-of-medical-students-in-england)

National health policy

Companies

7 days in healthcare (December 25th-31st, 2023). Happy New Year

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, 2023 definitely seems to be the year where the great impact of artificial intelligence on health has become completely clear. The example of a stethoscope that incorporates AI and substantially modifies the one invented 200 years ago is nothing more than an example of this great change. Scientific journals explore what 2023 has represented (anti-obesity medications and awareness of the impact of climate change on health, among others), as well as analyze the advances that are foreseen for 2024 (surely the HIV vaccine and the cure cholesterol, among many others).

Regarding Global Health, The Lancet dedicates its last issue of 2023 to exposing a series of photos related to health experiences in Nigeria.

Regarding International Health Policy, an interesting article in JAMA magazine that will cause controversy: it relates the increase in medical errors in American hospitals to their acquisition by private equity companies. It is one year since the end of the covid-zero policy in China and the Financial Times analyzes how that experience is remembered in that society.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), our country says goodbye to 2023 with the experience of three different Ministers of Health (Darias, Miñones and now García). It is evident that this dance of ministers (in 45 years there have been 28 Ministers of Health) can guarantee, in the best of cases, the continuity of the “ordinary administration”, but not the promotion of large renewing projects of change. SESPAS asks the Ministry to launch the Public Health Agency in 2024. The Ministry of Health of the Regional Government of Andalusia has experienced a serious crisis that led to the resignation of both the Vice-Minister and the Manager of the SAS. It seems that the underlying issue was the approach to addressing the waiting list and the involvement or not of the private sector in that resolution. If so, regardless of the anecdote of this moment, what it reflects is a very deep problem: the absence of a clear policy towards the private health sector on the part of the Popular Party. Madrid wants to promote a pharmaceutical hub, an issue in which Catalonia is by far in the lead.

In the field of Companies, on an international level, the great growth of the hair transplant market stands out, which already moves 8.7 billion euros annually. It seems that it is a nascent industry, but on the rise. The fever of anti-obesity drugs has meant that there are now 188 candidates, of which 25 are in advanced phase (III or IV). When it comes to national news, the fever of corporate operations in hospitals continues. Ribera, Quirón, Viamed and Vithas, the great protagonists.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International health policy

National health policy

Companies

7 days in healthcare (November 27th-December 3rd, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, the New England Journal of Medicine begins a series on the usefulness of wearable technology, the set of devices or instruments that are worn and transmit information about health, which could be useful in monitoring , diagnosis and treatment of various diseases or clinical situations. There is every impression that this technology will be part of the future and what the NEJM intends is to clarify its usefulness and indications in various diseases and specialties, starting with diabetes. Regarding CAR-T therapies, until now used in hematological processes, it is envisioned that they could also be useful in solid tumors.

Regarding Global Health, great prominence of the issue of health in the COP28 meeting, from two perspectives: the reduction of CO2 emissions, which can be harmful to health; and the emissions from the health system itself, which is a major polluter. It is confirmed in a new and extensive study carried out in Australia that the younger generations have worse mental health.

Regarding International Health Policy, in the United States an executive order by President Biden on AI, not specifically directed at the health sector, will, however, have an impact on this sector and the Ministry of Health is already preparing specific regulations. In China, it seems to be ruled out that the increase in respiratory infections is due to a new virus, but rather to common bacteria and viruses. The United Kingdom’s genetic database, UK Biobank, is about to reveal results, which seem to have an impact on new therapies. In France the price of a pack of tobacco is rising, despite this country’s failures in the fight against smoking. The new conservative government of New Zealand annuls the 2022 law, which prohibited the sale of tobacco from 2027. Austria launches a new health reform, which reinforces the digital route as access to the health system. Concern of several health groups in Argentina, given the health announcements of the new president-elect, Javier Milei.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the government of the Generalitat of Catalonia reactivates the results center, a model initiative in terms of transparency in the health sector, which had been largely paralyzed since the “procés”. All the data until 2022 has already been presented. Biosim demands new forms of purchasing and management adapted to biosimilars. Problems in the last research institute recognized by the Carlos III Health Institute, that of Asturias. Strong tensions for months between the management of ISPA (the Health Research Institute of the Principality of Asturias) and FINBA, a Foundation with a majority of private companies, which seeks to exercise control over ISPA. Unusual proposal from the Catalan medical colleges, which aims to introduce a “quota” for non-Catalans who aspire to study medicine in Catalonia.

In the field of Companies, on an international level, AstraZeneca is allying itself with AI Biologics. The linking of pharmaceutical companies with AI companies seems to be a general trend. At the national level, Vivanta confirms an ERE.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International health policy

National health policy

Companies

 

 

 

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

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, in the United Kingdom an initiative aims to be able to produce medicines for individual patients in less than a year. According to the National Bureau for Economic Research (NBER) of the United States, artificial intelligence, even with use cases already developed, will produce savings in healthcare expenses between 5-10%. This will offset the rise in other expenses in the sector, such as new medicines and medical technologies.

As far as Global Health is concerned, there is a relationship between the pattern of economic income and obesity, which occurs more in low-income workers, in relation to those with higher incomes. The fight against climate change has already produced some results. The COP28 conference, which will take place starting next week in Dubai, is expected to produce a declaration on climate and health. Polio is about to be eradicated in a few months, but the great challenge is that it does not return, since eradication is not the same as extinction.

Regarding International Health Policy, in its latest issue The Economist dedicates a supplement to forecasts for 2024. Among the 10 general forecasts, there is one that says that in an older world, health expenditures will grow to reach one tenth of global GDP. Among the specific health forecasts, it is noted that the pandemic has led to a growth in public spending on health (up to 80%, starting from 75%). Growth in private activity and an increase in the global pharmaceutical market is expected, with research efforts concentrating on medications against obesity and mRNA patents. In the United States, there is evidence of the inadequacy of private health insurance to provide financial security to the elderly for long-term care. Important agreement in the United Kingdom between the NHS and pharmaceutical companies, with which an annual growth in spending on medicines of 4% is agreed until 2027. Surely, an example for many countries, including Spain. Also in the United Kingdom, an agreement between the NHS and community pharmacies for the provision of a series of services, which will mean a large reduction in consultations in Primary Care. The health insurance boom in the United Kingdom, due to the problems of the NHS, is revealing certain limitations of private health insurance to meet demand. Something similar to what happens in Spain. Important document from the WHO (European region) and the Observatory on health systems, in which several governments participate, including the Spanish one, talking about the convenience of the participation of the private sector in the public health service, establishing the requirements for this to be successful. European countries warn of the health problems of climate change, since Europe is the continent in which temperatures have risen the most.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), new change in the Ministry of Health. Going to minister for a year or less does not seem like the best formula to address the long-term challenges of healthcare, without prejudice to the qualities of the new minister, which will have to be observed. Record in the waiting list, after the publication of the lists as of June 30 by the Ministry of Health. Important study on obesity in Spain published by the Carlos III Health Institute and AESAN, which demonstrates the relationship between the level of obesity and the postal district. A study by the Institute of Fiscal Studies shows that between the beginning of 2020 and the end of 2022, the number of doctors in the SNS has decreased by 17,000, despite the fact that the number of staff has increased globally. The Valencian Community launches a specific competition for positions that are difficult to fill. Aside from the approach of the tender, it is good that the specificities of this type of places are taken into account. There is no doubt that the standardizing approach to personnel policy does not allow us to solve certain problems, such as what are now called difficult-to-fill positions. Farmaindustria carries out, in collaboration with scientific societies, a study on clinical research in Primary Care. We are a powerhouse in clinical research in hospitals and there is no doubt that the bases of this success must be extended to other environments.

In the field of Companies, on an international level, problems in Bayer with a sharp drop in the stock, which the CEO of this company attributes to a limited pipeline, a consequence of a lack of effort in investment. At the national level, Vithas confirms its new hospital project in Valencia. For its part, Sanitas announces an investment to grow in nursing homes.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International health policy

  • European Union
    • European countries warn of the health problem of climate change. It is estimated that last summer there were 62,000 deaths in Europe due to heat, since this is the continent with the highest temperature rises. 18 member states ask the European Commission and ECDC for action (https://www.ft.com/content/52e71922-d9fc-49b6-98b5-3a4d37c21dbc)

National health policy

Companies

 

7 days in healthcare (November 6th-12th, 2023)

Summary

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.

Biomedicine

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 (https://www.oecd.org/health/health-at-a-glance/)

National health policy

Companies

 

 

7 days in healthcare (August 21st-27th, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, to highlight the results of the devices that read the brain and allow certain people to speak using their thoughts. In September the Human Brain Project will be presented, the most ambitious research project financed by the European Union. The British NICE recommends stool tests to be carried out at home for colorectal cancer screening.

As regards Global Health, the journal Science analyzes how climate change can amplify epidemics and give rise to new pandemics.

Regarding International Health Policy, important developments in the USA: the CDC establishes new standards for the approach to sepsis in hospitals; large increase in sex change surgeries in recent years; AstraZeneca is suing the American government for its plans to negotiate the price of medicines, which reflects the great tension between the pharmaceutical industry and the American government, which next week will reveal the 10 medicines on which the price is going to be negotiated; and, a large increase in mental health spending after the pandemic, something that is not expected to change. The British Nuffield Trust analyze the income of English doctors in the various categories. The WHO launches an interesting digital health initiative.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the Ministry of Public Health publish in the BOE the call for specialized health training with places for doctors, pharmacists, nurses, psychologists, chemists, biologists and physicists. The Ministry also publishes a very complete analysis on the relevance of lung cancer screening. Although it has been said that the Ministry refuses to implement this screening, the truth is that it has limited itself to publishing the report, which will be analyzed by the Interterritorial Council. In Europe there is no public system that has programs of this type in place. The positions of the Scientific Societies must be heard, but they are not the only ones to consider, taking into account that these Societies usually support everything that favors the activity of the respective specialty. But in these types of decisions, many circumstances must be weighed, including cost/effectiveness. Important confrontation between doctors and health insurers in Seville, which will take place throughout September. Some complaints from physicians have been made public in relation to the SELENE computer program, which is widely implemented in the hospital public sector. A subject on which it is difficult to pronounce, but clearly to follow, due to its importance. Having a user-friendly, fast computer application with innovative features is essential for medical practice.

In the field of Companies, internationally, it seems that Roche and MSD will lead the billing of pharmaceutical companies in the next five years. As far as national news is concerned, Europe is not opposed for competition reasons to the agreement between Esteve and Lubea.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

National health policy

Companies

 

 

 

7 days in healthcare (August 7th-13th, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, the NEJM insists on the need to prepare doctors for the new era of clinical algorithms, since misuse of these algorithms can be dangerous for patients. MIT advances may make conventional mammograms obsolete, as a “wearable” device can detect breast cancer using ultrasound. New facts are detected in relation to the growth of resistance to antibiotics: a species of virus parasites and air pollution. In any case, the United Nations says that by 2050 these resistances could represent more than 10 million deaths a year. Walking 4,000 steps a day can lower your risk of death from any cause.

As regards Global Health, Chris van Tulleken, famous doctor and TV presenter, is publishing a book on “ultra-processed food”, those whose manufacturing process makes them rich in calories, poor in nutrients and difficult to stop eating them, which poses a major health threat. In the United States, cases of syphilis are increasing, while penicillin to treat them is in short supply, given the low interest in the production of antibiotics by pharmaceutical companies.

Regarding International Health Policy, it should be noted that the WHO monitors the new variant of covid (EG.5), although it classifies its impact on public health as low. In the United Kingdom, a laboratory is created capable of launching new vaccines 100 days after the start of any pandemic. Let us remember that in the case of the covid the term was one year, which already represented a remarkable feat, something never seen before. Also in the United Kingdom, both private equity companies and the CEO of AXA, detect great business opportunities in the face of the great crisis of the National Health Service, something that should not surprise anyone, since the market is characterized by solving unsatisfied problems for what the population is willing to pay. The Nuffield Trust publishes its monthly monitoring of NHS performance, with particular monitoring of test and surgical waiting lists, cancer waiting lists, emergency room waiting times and ambulance response. A laudable initiative, which could well be imitated in our country.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), although the measurement of the covid is not as rigorous as a few months ago, there are indirect indications that the incidence must be rising, as shown in the large increase in the sale of the antigen tests. The Sant Pau hospital begins an ambitious multidisciplinary Robotic Surgery program, which includes five surgical teams. Madrid launches the figure of the administrative assistant in Primary Care, something hopeful, but whose results will have to be seen.

In the field of Companies, internationally, Novo Nordisk and Lilly ready to conquer the promising obesity market. At the national level, anti-obesity drugs also enter our country, although of the three that exist (Ozempic and Wegoby, from Novo Nordisk; and Mounjaro, from Lilly) in Spain, only Ozempic is available and the public system only prescribes it for type 2 diabetes, not for obesity. The consolidation of the nursing home sector accelerates: Colisée, Vitalia, Clariane (formerly Korian), Domus Vi and Vivalto Vie, the most active players.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

National Health Policy

  • Public health innovations
    • Hospital Sant Pau starts a multidisciplinary Robotic Surgery Program that includes five surgical teams. Hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery (HBP), Bariatric and Esophagogastric, Colon and Rectal, Gynecology and Thoracic Surgery (https://gacetamedica.com/profesion/el-hospital-sant-pau-inicia-un-programa-de-cirugia-robotica-multidisciplinary-that-includes-five-surgical-teams/#:~:text=They are%20five%20the%20surgical%20teams,and%20Thoracic%20Surgery%20(CTO).)
    • Madrid eliminates the bureaucracy of doctors with the figure of the administrative assistant (https://www.redaccionmedica.com/autonomias/madrid/madrid-empieza-a-liberar-de-burocracia-a-sus-medicos-con-una-new-figure-4733)

Companies

 

 

 

7 days in healthcare (July 24th-30th, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, the mRNA vaccine for cancer and regenerative medicine seem to be the great promises in medical advances.

As regards Global Health, The Lancet dedicates an editorial to the need for a broader vision of women’s health, beyond maternal health. The most prevalent disease problems in women are the same as in men, but need insight into specific, poorly understood risks.

As for International Health Policy, the battle continues in the United States for the application of the new pharmaceutical policy that allows Medicare to negotiate the price of drugs, something that until now had been banned. This negotiation will begin in 2024 and it is expected that on September 1, 2023 the medicines on which it will be negotiated will be known. In a movement that seems to be ahead of events, several pharmaceutical companies (Janssen, Merck, Astellas Pharma and BMS) file a lawsuit against the American government. Apart from other possible considerations, it seems difficult to maintain that the price of medicines is much higher in the United States than in other countries, and not only in developing countries, but also in Europe. In the United Kingdom, the British Medical Journal focuses on the financing of pharmaceutical and medical technology companies to British scientific societies. For this, more transparency is required.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the political changes derived from the regional elections establish a new configuration of the Interterritorial Council, which will be numerically dominated by the PP (which will count, including the Canary Islands Coalition) 12 seats in the Council, by 3 of the PSOE (Castilla-La Mancha, Navarra, Asturias), 1 from the PNV (Basque Country) and 1 from ERC (Catalonia). The Radar Healthcare organization publishes a new ranking of healthcare systems and awards Spain a very favorable position in terms of quality. In general, these types of rankings must be looked at with a magnifying glass and consider the type of indicators analyzed and another series of circumstances. A biased and unprofessional interpretation of the international rankings on the Spanish health system has meant, in practice, a brake on the reforms. If we are so well, why reform anything? It is known that Spain is one of the OECD countries that devotes less public funding to dental care. What we did not know and what is now clear is that it has even dropped very significantly in the last decade, going from 5,245 million euros in 2010 to 3,681 in 2020. It seems clear that Spain, which globally has organized vaccination against covid very well However, it has failed to develop a vaccine: the HIPRA vaccine was delayed much longer than expected and the announced intranasal vaccine no longer even has a release date. It is difficult to compete with vaccines that appear less than a year after the onset of the disease, as has happened in the case of covid, with long development of vaccines that take years.

In the field of Companies, internationally, the president of Novartis (company of European origin) says that the price reform in the United States of medicines represents a threat to Public Health. At the national level, it is worth noting that spending on biosimilars has exceeded 1 billion euros in 2022, due to the fact that the patent for several biological drug molecules has expired and biosimilars have appeared.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

National health policy

  • Changes in the Interterritorial Council
    • Changes in the political sign of the autonomous communities completely modify the political weights in the Interterritorial Council. The popular ones will have 12 seats (with the Canary Islands Coalition), compared to 3 for the socialists (Castilla-La Mancha, Navarra and Asturias), 1 for the PNV (Basque Country) and 1 ERC (Catalonia) (https://gacetamedica.com/opinion/a-new-territorial-council-of-the-sns/)

Companies

7 days in healthcare (June, 19th-25th, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, ethical problems continue to be discussed as a consequence of the creation of embryos without eggs or sperm. Until now, an embryo required an egg and a sperm, but this new approach would allow, in hypothesis, to solve problems of infertility or pregnancy loss, but it is a matter to regulate very carefully. Two studies in Nature seem to show that the Y chromosome makes men more vulnerable to tumors.

With regard to Global Health, The Lancet focuses on the great threat of diabetes, since it is estimated that in 2050 there will be 1.3 billion diabetics, a disease related to obesity, diet, tobacco, alcohol and sedentary lifestyle. Inequalities in access to morphine are denounced, with the United States and Europe almost completely monopolizing its use. An important issue, since this drug has a relevant role in the treatment of pain and in palliative care.

Regarding International Health Policy, according to the weekly WHO report, covid is declining in both the number of cases and deaths in all WHO regions of the world. Only in the African region is there a slight increase in the number of deaths, with a decrease in the number of new cases. In the United States, the commercialization of meat grown in the laboratory is approved. One of the authorized establishments belongs to the Spanish philanthropist José Andrés. Also in the United States, not minor problems continue as a result of the annulment of the Roe v Wade ruling that transfers the authorization of abortion to the states. In the United Kingdom, the problems with the emergency services continue and a strike of resident doctors is called. New health insurance law in South Africa, which appears to represent progress towards universal coverage in that country.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), according to the WHO weekly bulletin, Spain is the country in Europe with the highest mortality from covid. The government and the communities agree to abolish the mandatory nature of masks in health centers and pharmacies. Ayuso, proclaimed President of the Community of Madrid, after the last elections. Absence of great news in the announcements of health measures for this legislature. As was already known, Spain is consolidating itself as a world power in clinical trials, an achievement no less.

In the field of Companies, internationally, Walmart (the largest supermarket chain in the USA) enters the primary care business, with 32 centers in 5 states. Walmart was already in healthcare, but it was with small clinics for minor care. Significant company purchases by Merck MSD and Lilly, which seems to confirm that M&A activity in pharmaceutical companies is reviving. In the Spanish national arena, ASEBIO announces an increase in investment in R&D by biotech companies in 2022.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

National health policy

Companies

 

 

 

7 days in healthcare (May 29th-June 4th, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, it is worth noting the death of the virologist Harald sur Hausen, whose name will not mean anything to many, but who 50 years ago discovered the relationship between papillomavirus and cervical cancer, initiating studies of the relationship between viruses and cancer. Reading the DNA of a large and highly varied number of primates allows us to better understand what a human person is and the origin of some diseases. An international consortium discovers that the nucleus of cells is metabolically active.

As regards Global Health, The Economist focuses on the decline in global fertility, due to a decrease in births, not an increase in deaths, a fact with great consequences in our societies. The WHO puts a target by means of cheap vaccines to the global vaccination against cervical cancer, which still produces a large number of deaths. The UN warns about the great sources of hunger in the world: Haiti, Mali, Burkina Faso and Sudan.

Regarding International Health Policy, Canada is preparing a regulation that will make it mandatory to carry warnings of negative health effects on each cigarette. The EU finalizes a regulation to remunerate plasma donations. The WHO celebrates the 76th World Assembly in Switzerland, in which several topics were discussed, among others, the next UN High-Level meeting on universal health coverage, to be held on September 23.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the call for early elections for July 23 paralyzes the processing of more than 60 laws in relation to health, including some as important as the Equity Law, the Framework Statute, the Law of the National Agency of Public Health or the Law of Guarantees and Rational Use of Medicines. In the Valencian Community, Mazón (the winning candidate of the PP in that Community and foreseeable new president) announces the freezing of the reversal process of the concessions of Manises, Denia and Elche, which had already started or were planned by the Ximo Puig government. He also doesn’t rule out launching new concessions. The Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation, awarded to the non-profit initiative Medicines for Neglected Diseases, which focuses not on rare diseases, but on highly prevalent diseases, especially in underdeveloped countries, such as Chagas disease, dengue fever, kala-azar or river blindness and which are considered to affect around 1,000-1,500 million people in those countries, without any research, industry or commercial effort commensurate with their importance.

In the field of Companies, internationally, China breaks the veto on Western vaccines and will allow Moderna to settle in that country. For its part, AstraZeneca defies geopolitical challenges and intends to grow in China. At the national level, Zurich joins forces with Google and DKV to launch digital health insurance. Quirónsalud intends to grow in telemedicine and closes a contract to serve university students.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

  • France
    • Tobacco use is stable in France, one in four adults smokes daily (https://www.lemonde.fr/sante/article/2023/05/31/avec-un-adulte-sur-quatre-qui-smoke-quotidiennement-le-tabagisme-reste-stable-en-france_6175491_1651302.html#:~:text=Tabac-,Tabac%20%3A%20avec%20un%20adulte%20sur%20quatre%20qui%20fume%20quotidiennement%2C% twenty)
  • Canada
    • Canada is going to require that a warning about the danger be printed on each cigarette, since it has been seen that young people start smoking when they receive the offer not of a pack, but of a cigarette (https://www.lemonde. fr/international/article/2023/05/31/le-canada-va-demiger-qu-un-avertissement-soit-imprime-sur-chaque-cigarette_6175630_3210.html)

National health policy

Companies