Posts

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 (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 (May 15th-21st, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, to point out certain warnings about the use of blood tests for the detection of cancer, an area with great growth, since in some cases there may be errors in diagnosis, over diagnosis and over treatment . Researchers are trying to improve Nuclear Resonance imaging, through fMRI, which will be able to detect brain activity on the millisecond scale. The WHO warns about the use of sweeteners for weight control and ChatGPT in health, without careful prior examination.

With regard to Global Health, The Lancet denounces in an editorial the continuation of the practice of the death penalty in some countries, but most fundamentally in China. The International Treaty on Pandemics, which may be one of the positive consequences of the covid, seems to be ready in May 2024.

Regarding International Health Policy, very interesting statements by the Director General of the WHO to The Economist magazine, following the lifting of the global alarm due to the covid. Trying to explain why the covid affected developed countries (such as the USA) in many cases more than developing countries, he comments that possibly a certain self sufficiency about the strength of their health systems and a concentration towards investments in specialized hospitals and high technology, in instead of public health, is at the origin of this situation. The crisis in the NHS continues, Starmer (Labor Party leader) says the system cannot be fixed without fixing the “fundamentals”. He seems to understand by “fundamentals” the need for reforms and not just more funding. EMA 2022 annual report, which greets that year as very positive due to the rapid development of new vaccines and new drugs.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), apart from the rise in the incidence of covid, possibly the most far-reaching news is the shortage of certain medicines in pharmacies. It seems that the causes can be multiple, but basically three: the dependence on certain raw materials that are manufactured in India and China; parallel exports due to the lower price of medicines in Spain compared to other European countries; and the very low price of some drugs that discourages their production. In Primary Care, the real problems far exceed the weekend promises to give more money, apparently already committed. In-depth reforms and increased funding is what Primary Care needs, after a deep negotiation and consensus. The PP of Asturias promises to end, if it wins, with the exclusivity of doctors in that region, apparently already the only one in Spain that rigorously applies this regulation. The project of the new Hospital Clinic (Barcelona) of more than 1,500 million surprises by its grandeur. It is to be assumed that such a large investment is fully justified and explained very well to the population.

In the field of Companies, at the international level, a large fine was imposed on the pharmaceutical chain Walgreens in San Francisco for promoting the use of opiates. In Spain, the construction of a new hospital in Alicante by IMED stands out (is there a real boom in new private hospitals?); the sale to a German fund of 26% of ESTEVE; and, as unusual, the denunciation by the hospital employer ASPE of the agreement between Sanitas and Generali. It seems that the discrepancy is that Sanitas extends the advantageous rates that it had negotiated with suppliers, which are more favorable than those of Generali, to Generali customers in this way.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

  • China
    • What happened in China after the abandonment of the covid zero policy and the massive infection of omicron? The official figures for deaths are 87,475 between February 24 and March 16, 2023. Other estimates speak of between 1-1.5 million deaths. Surely the reality is somewhere in between (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2804631)

National health policy

Companies

 

 

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

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, vaccines against cancer; precision surgery in lung cancer; the use of bacteriophage viruses against antibiotic resistant bacteria; stem cells for a wide variety of diseases; and micromotor robots, great promise in the development of new advances in medicine.

With regard to Global Health, it should be noted that 839 million people around the world cannot eat with dignity, for various reasons; the magazine Nature calls for a treaty against new pandemics, since it estimates that the covid represented “a catastrophic failure of the international community in achieving solidarity and equity”. The malaria pandemic is still active in more than 30 countries .

Regarding International Health Policy, in the United States the practices of certain pharmaceutical companies to prevent the entry of generics and biosimilars are denounced. International effort in the search for antibiotics to combat bacterial resistance.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the incidence of the covid has a small rebound, hopefully in a context of falling incidence, although high mortality persists. The Spanish Public Health Agency, whose bill has just been approved, possibly the most important consequence of the covid crisis. The conflict of public health continues, focused on Primary Care. The Constitutional Court recognizes the constitutionality of the abortion law of deadlines. AESEG and BIOSIM request modification of the reference prices and urgent measures along these lines, since many medicines are at the limit of economic viability.

In the field of Companies, at the international level, it should be noted that Sanofi and Merck MSD significantly increase their profits in 2022. At the national level, Quirónsalud announces the start-up of a new hospital in Valencia. For its part, Consentino, a company that had plans to go public, may see its intentions cut short for health reasons, given the high incidence of silicosis among its workforce.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

  • USA

National Health Policy

Companies

7 days in healthcare (January 2nd-8th, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, it is important to highlight significant advances in the treatment of some diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, breast cancer (a project inspired in its day by José Baselga), brain tumors, including the dreaded glioblastoma multiforme, and resistant tuberculosis.

With regard to Global Health, the WHO warns of global health threats in 2023: the Ebola outbreak in Uganda, which fortunately already seems to be in recession; the drought in the Horn of Africa; cholera, endemic in 69 countries; non-communicable diseases (particularly cardiovascular, diabetes, respiratory diseases and cancer), as well as the global stagnation due to the pandemic in the fight against various diseases: HIV, malaria and tuberculosis. Science reminds us that wastewater analysis has proven to be extremely useful for monitoring infectious diseases.

As for International Health Policy, with regard to covid, global concern is not so much for the cases that may come from China (which seem to correspond to the omicron that we already know) but for the new variant (Kraken) of United States, much more contagious than omicron and already affects a high percentage of cases in that country. The serious problems of the end of covid zero in China continue, with the opening of the country on January 8, which has been closed for three years. An editorial in The Economist looks at how the grand reopening may affect the global economy. Once again, the WHO says that mortality from covid in China is underestimated, if official figures are taken into account. Big change in the United States, where the abortion pill can be purchased in ordinary pharmacies. The large pharmacy chains, willing to participate in this sale. It must be remembered that a high percentage of abortions in the United States are already pharmacological. Serious crisis in the British National Health Service, with staff strikes, long waiting lists, saturation of emergencies and statements by unions and the Prime Minister. Labor wants to pass NHS employees to GPs (primary physicians), something that is in contradiction with the founding political pact of 1948 for the creation of the National Health Service, in which Aneurin Bevan participated. In France, health is also at the center of the political debate, with some statements on January 6 by President Macron, who considered among the solutions nothing less than ending fees per act, which in France are big words.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the year opens with the prospect of regional elections in 12 autonomous communities (May 28) and general elections at the end of the year, as well as a change in the head of the Ministry of Health. Several laws have been announced, including some advanced (new framework personnel statute, abortion, equity law), others more delayed (Public Health Agency, law of guarantees, possible reform of the dependency law). The Platform of Patient Organizations (POP) makes 10 proposals for chronic patients. As for professionals, some health insurance companies (DKV) have reacted quickly and announced increases in rates for doctors, which is undoubtedly a response to the criticism they had received from some medical associations, which even have raised certain protest actions. A piece of news says that the Zendal hospital has only 56 patients, which speaks of the fact that it has not yet found its place in Madrid’s health system, not surprising, since it seems that this hospital was established without the corresponding and obligatory Functional Plan (which defines the service portfolio, the population to be served, the incardination in the rest of the system, technology, personnel needs and other basic issues). Biosimilars, under the leadership of BIOSIM and starting in Extremadura, delve into the experience of shared benefit.

In the business sphere, in the international arena, Moderna acquires a genomics company. On the other hand, the completion of the Da Vinci robot patent will change the prospects for robotic surgery. At the national level, Ribera assumes the management of the Cascais hospital in Portugal, which is good news for public/private collaboration in our country.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

National health policy

Companies

7 days in healthcare (December 19th-25th, 2022)

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, it should be noted that 2022 has been an extraordinarily productive year from the point of view of the appearance of effective drugs, among others against obesity or different forms of cancer. mRNA vaccines open the way to new therapeutic approaches

With regard to Global Health, the British Medical Journal summarizes the human and health damage caused by the floods in Pakistan.

Regarding International Health Policy, discussions continue about the origin of the covid. President Biden is accused of complacency in saying as early as September that “the pandemic is over”, while the mortality continues. Everything seems to indicate that the end of the covid-zero policy in China is producing a large number of cases (millions in just one day), which is putting maximum pressure on the health system and, probably, since there are no reliable figures, with a high mortality. UK nurses and ambulance strike.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the incidence of covid has risen slightly in the last week, with a high death toll (241). The strike of Primary Care doctors in Madrid is paralyzed until January 11, to analyze the administration proposals. The Government undertakes to launch the working group for the elaboration of the Strategic Plan on the pharmaceutical industry, after the promises of investments in the next three years made by the heads of the most important pharmaceutical companies in a meeting in La Moncloa . Government and Community of Madrid launch the Neurotechnology Center.

In the field of Companies, internationally, it seems that private equity companies are oriented in the USA towards hospital emergencies. In Spain, Warren Buffet acquired the largest medical error insurance.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

National health policy

  • Pharmaceutical policy

Companies

 

 

7 days in healthcare (June 13th-20th, 2022)

 

Summary

From the point of view of biomedicine, to highlight the new therapy against a disease as terrible as ALS tested in Canada. Unfortunately there are doubts as to its effectiveness.

As far as Global Health is concerned, it is verified that it is the vaccine nationalism of the States that has led to the failure of COVAX, which failed to extend covid vaccination to poor countries in significant percentages.

Regarding international health policy, the approval in the United States of the covid vaccination for children under five years of age should be highlighted. Also the agreement of the World Trade Organization regarding the temporary suspension of patents on covid vaccines, something he was discussing for two years. We will see if this agreement translates into relevant measures. For now, the IFPMA (World Association of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers) has already spoken out against it. Hospitalizations for covid increase in Europe, specifically in France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

If we talk about national health policy (Spain), we must mention the controversial announcement by the Minister of Health of the fourth dose of covid for the entire population, something partially rectified by the Ministry itself and which has been rejected by many experts. Also the approval by the Government of the preliminary draft of the Equity Law. Great controversy with the private sector, since it tries to minimize and declare exceptional the collaboration of the private sector in the public service of the National Health System. But by declaring “direct management” as preferable in the SNS, it also positions itself against the more entrepreneurial development of public management, despite the fact that the benefits of legal personality and the labor regime are known in terms of greater efficiency than direct management. On the other hand, the draft may undermine the powers of the autonomous communities, since health management (and therefore the way of carrying it out) is a transferred matter. It is not surprising that very important Catalan institutions (such as UCH, CSC, ACES and Círculo de Sanidad) have taken a position against it. Important demonstration by nurses in the center of Madrid, highlighting the importance of the abandoned professional policy in the National System of Health.

In the field of companies, it is worth noting the birth of the largest pediatric oncology center in Spain and one of the largest in Europe: the one located in the Sant Joan de Deu Hospital in Barcelona. Expansión highlights that the remarkable growth of health insurance is compatible with a loss of its operating profitability.

Biomedicine

Global health

International health policy

National health policy

Monkeypox

COVID

Regulatory announcements

Other themes

Companies

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 31-February 6, 2022)

 

SUMMARY

As far as biomedicine is concerned, the report on the value of death by The Lancet stands out; also the development of the nasal vaccine against COVID; the new horizon of transplants, derived from the possibilities of genetic editing of animal organs; and, the revolution that the new cancer vaccines based on mRNA technology may entail.

In terms of global health, the AstraZeneca vaccine is the most widely used worldwide, due to its contribution to COVAX. More than 2,500 million doses have been placed globally.

In international health policy, the most striking is the study by Johns Hopkins University, which minimizes the effectiveness of confinement, which contrasts with previous studies; the 900,000 deaths from COVID in the United States and the 500,000 in India; the WTO continues to request the release of vaccine patents. In Europe, it is worth highlighting the new clinical trial system approved by the European Union and its new approach to cancer.

National health policy continues to be dominated by COVID. The numbers of cases are decreasing, which speaks of the decline of the “sixth wave”. However, deaths are still very high. The announcement that oncological biomarkers will be included in the portfolio of the National Health System is very important. Cancer mapping in Spain presents very striking results, with a high concentration of cancer incidence in certain geographical areas. Subject to study and act.

In company news, the leading role of venture capital companies is notable, with the large operations underway by Sandoz (a generic and biosimilar branch of Novartis) and IVI (a Spanish fertility company). The interest of private equity companies is concentrated around these companies. Also the acquisition of MIR Asturias by CVC and the Alfonso X University. The attempt by Correos to enter pharmaceutical distribution will bring a tail.

BIOMEDICINE

  • Report on the value of death: while in developed countries there is hypertreatment around death, in most countries death occurs without access to basic pain treatment (The Lancet, January 31, 22)
  • The nasal vaccine may be better for successive doses. There are a dozen such vaccines in development in phase 3 trials (NYT, February 2, 22)
  • The “stealth” variant (stealth) does not generate alarm, but it can slow down the decline in the number of cases (NYT, January 31, 22)
  • The sub-variant “ómicron” BA.2, more contagious than the original (FT, 31 January 22)
  • The new variant BA.2, already present in 57 countries, according to the WHO (FT, February 3, 22)
  • New variant of the HIV virus, discovered in the Netherlands (FT, February 3, 22)
  • Genetic editing of pig hearts: a new horizon for transplants (FT, February 2, 22)
  • Cancer vaccines: the new mRNA revolution (El País, Vozpópuli, February 4, 22)
  • Amidst the wide debate on abortion, a simple pill seems the most viable option (The Economist, 5 February 22)

GLOBAL HEALTH

  • AstraZeneca, the most distributed vaccine through COVAX, has already given 2,500 million doses worldwide (ConSalud, January 31, 22)
  • Humanitarian groups denounce that sanctions against Mali may have very adverse health consequences (The Lancet, February 5, 22)

INTERNATIONAL HEALTH POLICY

  • COVID

o A study by Johns Hopkins University (Applied Economics Studies magazine) questions the effectiveness of confinement in reducing mortality, which contrasts with the analysis published in Nature in June 2020, which estimates that three million deaths have been prevented in Europe by confinement, 450,000 in Spain (El Independiente, February 3, 22)

o The UK approves the Novavax vaccine (FT, 3 February 22)

o The American army begins to fire its members who refuse the vaccine (The Guardian, February 2, 22)

o The New Zealand border will be reopened in phases from the end of February, the Prime Minister announces (The Guardian, 2 February 22)

o The United States reaches 900,000 deaths from COVID (The Guardian, February 4, 22)

o India exceeds 500,000 deaths from COVID (The Guardian, February 4, 22)

o Europe facing a “long period of tranquility” in the pandemic, says the WHO, due to the lesser severity of the “ómicron” variant, the high percentages of immunization and the good weather (The Guardian, February 3, 22)

o The WTO (World Trade Organization) wants an agreement to release vaccine patents this month (El Español, February 1, 22)

o The German Vaccine Commission recommends the fourth dose for vulnerable and health groups (El País, February 3, 22)

o Beijing seals off several communities for two cases of COVID (The Guardian, January 31, 22)

o The COVID vaccine is already mandatory in Austria, with a great social fracture (Expansión, February 5, 22)

  • Other issues

o New clinical trial system in Europe, which Farmaindustria sees as an opportunity (diariofarma, February 1, 22)

o The EU will act against inequalities against cancer (ConSalud, February 3, 22)

NATIONAL HEALTH POLICY (SPAIN)

  • COVID

o The sixth wave is being left behind, the cases and hospitalizations are slowing down, although not the deaths that already exceed 6,000 since November (El País, February 5, 22)

o The mask outdoors will no longer be mandatory from next Thursday (El País, February 4, 22)

o Health has not yet closed the purchase of 344,000 doses of Paxlovid (El Español, February 3, 22)

o The AEM authorizes the HIPRA vaccine to go to phase 3 of clinical trials (The Objective, February 1, 22)

  • Political ads

o The new public health center, affected by the decentralization of public offices (diariofarma, February 1, 22)

o The approval of oncological biomarkers, announced as a pending objective of the expansion of the NHS portfolio (diariofarma, February 1, 22)

o The Minister of Health says that the Anti-Tobacco Law needs to be updated (ConSalud, February 4, 22)

  • Other issues

o 27% of pharmaceutical innovations approved in 2021, subject to special financing conditions (diariofarma, February 1, 22)

o Access to new cancer drugs takes more than 19 months in Spain, while in Germany it takes two months, according to doctors and patients (La Vanguardia, February 2, 22)

o Health plan to make rural pharmacies more viable (ConSalud, January 28, 2022)

o The private e-prescription is consolidated (diariofarma, February 2, 22)

o The cartography of cancer in Spain has been published, with very striking results, according to the “Atlas of Cancer Mortality in Portugal and Spain” (El Periódico de España, February 5, 22)

COMPANIES, EMPLOYERS AND OTHER AGENTS IN THE SECTOR

  • American pharmaceutical companies (J&J and three of the largest drug distributors in the United States) agree to pay 590 million dollars to Native Americans for the opioid crisis (El País, February 1, 22)
  • Pharmaceutical cold distribution, new Correos service (Redacción Médica, February 2, 22)
  • Pfizer-Biontech requests authorization from the FDA for the approval of the vaccine for children under 5 years of age (El País, February 1, 22)
  • Private equity companies consider offers of more than 25,000 million dollars for the generics unit of Novartis, Sandoz, Blackstone, Carlyle and EQT, among the most interested (FT, February 1, 22)
  • KKR, CVC, Permira, Bain, Carlyle and PAI outline their bids to take over the fertility company of Valencian origin IVI, the bids range from 1,500 million euros (CincoDías, January 31, 22)
  • Atrys enters the continuous market, as of February 7 (PlantaDoce, February 3, 22)
  • Sanitas gains ground and plans to open 7 rehabilitation centers in 2022 (PlantaDoce, February 1, 22)
  • Adeslas and Caixabank extend their agreement in the Bankia network for 650 million euros (CincoDías, January 27, 22)
  • MIR Asturias acquired by CVC and Alfonso X University (La Nueva España, February 3, 22)
  • Quirón acquires Clínicas Vida and strengthens its care network in Tenerife (PlantaDoce, January 28, 22)
  • Vitaldent expands throughout Andalusia and opens a new clinic in Benalmádena (PlantaDoce, February 3, 22)
  • Group 5 opens a residence for serious mental disorders in Madrid (PlantaDoce, February 3, 22)
  • Prim is reinforced with the purchase of Herbitas laboratories (Expansión, February 4, 22)
  • Pharmamar leads a consortium of companies for the development of advanced therapies (El Economista, February 3, 22)

Atrys: a multinational created in five years (breakfast with its Founder: Santiago de Torres)

 

On January 25, 2022, a breakfast was held at the Roland Berger headquarters in Madrid with Santiago de Torres, Founder and President of Atrys.

What follows is a brief summary of the story of the creation, development and future prospects of this company. It is nothing more than a summary of the rich exposition of its Founder.

What does the company do

Advanced medical diagnosis in the broadest sense: radiology, teleradiology, genetics, molecular diagnosis, Pathology, etc. All this oriented both to prevention and precision medicine, using the most varied tools: Big data, artificial intelligence, …

Ultimately, it is a matter of putting as many surnames as possible to the medical process, be it cancer or another disease, in order to select the most appropriate treatment for the characteristics of the pathology and the patient.

Big emphasis on data

Atrys performs 6 million medical acts per year. From the information generated by these data, Atrys has developed its own data company (Smart Data), with the idea that all this information can be used by pharmaceutical companies and other health companies.

Customers

They are both private and public. In general, 75% of income comes from private clients (hospital groups, etc.) and 25% from public clients.

How it has grown

Atrys has been developed based on organic and inorganic growth

To show the speed of its growth, when Atrys went on the MAB (now BME Growth) it had a turnover of 4.5 million euros and an EBIDTA of 1 million euros. At the present time (about to go on the continuous market) its capitalization is 600 million and its EBIDTA is 40 million.

In this period they have gone from 45 employees in 2016 to 2,300 today.

Joint initiatives with renowned partners

Atrys has a nuclear medicine center with Sanitas in Barcelona (another one will be opened soon in Madrid); the creation of a pediatric oncology center is underway in Sant Joan de Déu in Barcelona, ​​in which Atrys will perform nuclear medicine; as well as with the Champalimaud Foundation, in Portugal; and with BUPA in Chile, among others.

Presence in 7 countries

Atrys has a presence in 7 countries: Spain, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Portugal and Switzerland. The presence in Switzerland responds to give confidence to investors in terms of operating in a solid triple A country.

Company integration process

Regarding inorganic growth, Atrys has integrated 14 companies. Atrys approach is always to acquire 100%.

Very balanced shareholding

Shareholder management has been an important part of Atrys’ success.

At this time it has two mutuals (Mutua Madrileña and CASER), which together have around 10%; 2 funds; 2 family offices (with 5% each); and management has 12%. 30% in floating shares.

Continuous market release

Soon (February 9, 22), Atrys will go on the continuous market, after more than arduous negotiations and compliance with the requirements of the CNMV.

Governance has been adapted and is highly thought of in the continuous market, for example Josep Piqué is an independent director and is the Chairman of the Audit Committee.

This whole process of relations with the CNMV slowed down inorganic growth a bit, in order not to alter the picture during the process, but it already has more than 10 companies in the pipeline and its approach is to go from being in 7 countries in a short time to be in 10, being the last three to be incorporated from the environment of the European Union.

Keys to success

According to its Founder, there have been basically three keys to success:

  • Do what they do well (be it radiology, genetics, molecular diagnostics, pathology, data analysis, etc.)
  • Take care of relations with investors and the type of investors in the company
  • Manage the equity/debt ratio very well

End goal

For Atrys, in the words of its Founder, what they want is to set up a large diagnostic company, with a presence in many countries.