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7 days in healthcare (April 3rd-9th, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, vaccines against cancer and heart disease, based on mRNA technology, which are looming on the horizon 2030, seem to be the next great advance in medicine, potentially saving millions of lives. The Economist dedicates an article and an editorial to demonstrate the weak evidence for the therapy of gender transitions in adolescents, especially when they include pharmacological or surgical medication. Contrary to what had been a very popular assumption, moderate alcohol consumption does not produce health benefits, according to a study of more than 40 years published by the JAMA Network Open. Rather the opposite is true.

As regards Global Health, the WHO, born after the Second World War, is celebrating its 75th anniversary. He has emerged from the pandemic with injuries and issues, but acutely aware of his mission, purpose, and need for change. One of the problems it encounters is the discrepancies between countries in the discussion of a treaty on pandemics, which it intends to be approved in 2024. The Lancet publishes several articles on the commercial determinants of health, a subject of great interest. interest. Four industries – tobacco, unhealthy eating, oil and fossil fuels, and alcohol – are responsible for a third of deaths each year globally.

As for International Health Policy, in the United States, a federal judge in Texas has just banned the use of an abortion drug, which had been approved by the FDA more than 20 years ago. In France, the citizens’ convention, made up of 184 citizens chosen by lot, has just ruled in favor of euthanasia and assisted suicide, although with certain “red lines”. Macron wants to discuss the bill before the summer.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), surgical waiting lists set a new record, according to the report made public by the Ministry of Health, with data as of December 31, 2022. Almost 900,000 people waiting for a surgical intervention. An absolutely delegitimizing element of the system. As is well known, the Ministry only makes public the waiting lists for surgical intervention or specialist consultations, but not for special tests (radiology, radiotherapy, ultrasound, etc.), on which there are no national data, although there are some autonomous communities. Interesting article published in Gaceta Sanitaria on the economic impact of including dental care in public coverage. This is an issue that the majority political parties have been pronouncing in favor of for several years, but nothing has been done on it. Spain is possibly the European country with the least percentage of its health spending devoted to dental care. The declarations of the Minister of Health of Catalonia are surprising, justifying the dismissal of the nurses who criticized the Catalan C1. Since this type of statement about specific dismissals is not common among regional ministers, it is to be assumed that there is an important political background. The decision of Navarra and Asturias to launch public companies, one for medical transport and another for a hospital laundry, is also surprising. Wouldn’t there have been the possibility of resorting to private initiative to solve these needs, perhaps more efficiently than through a public company?

In the field of Companies, internationally, agreement between Medtronic and Davita to launch Mozarc. At the national level, it is worth noting the start of work on the Viamed hospital in Tarragona, and the separation of the “pharmacy” and “chemistry” areas of the company Esteve.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

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 9th-15th, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, everything seems to indicate that important advances in the diagnosis and treatment of certain diseases are coming in the not too distant future, with cancer vaccines, the new FLASH radiotherapy, the diagnostic revolution of virtual biopsies and the incorporation of certain devices (such as smart watches) in the prevention and monitoring of certain pathologies.

With regard to Global Health, it should be noted that climate change seriously threatens our health, according to The Lancet. Another important article in this magazine refers to the fact that the covid has revealed the inequalities between social groups and countries in dealing with the pandemic, as well as the absence of a global health architecture.

As for International Health Policy, with regard to covid, an editorial in The Lancet says that far from being overcome, 2023 brings new concerns, such as the impact of the situation in China or the new form XBB.1.5 in the United States. In China, the post-covid zero situation continues, officially acknowledging almost 60,000 deaths in the last month, despite the fact that the WHO insists on the request for more transparency in that country. In the United States, the abortion pill, according to the FDA, can already be purchased in pharmacies and by mail order, even in states where abortion is totally prohibited, which indicates the difficulty of shortcuts and of wanting to close doors to the field. In the United Kingdom the serious crisis of the NHS continues. The health minister of the shadow Labor cabinet publishes in the Financial Times an article with a long-term approach to reforms, something that, regardless of its content, we miss in Spain by all parties. An important editorial in The Economist where it says that part of the solution to the NHS’s problems involves solving the problems of Primary Care, proposing several changes, but without losing perspective that a large part of the problems are in hospitals, with the situation of waiting lists and emergencies. He also opposes the Labor Party’s proposal, made last week, to end the independent mini-company character of Primary Care in the UK, in order to make primary care physicians salaried. The Economist carries out a study that says that in the United Kingdom there are 260 deaths a week (more than 12,000 a year) as a result of delays in the emergency room. The British are turning more and more to private healthcare, as increase problems in the public sector. The EU devises plans to avoid medicine shortages and dependence on China.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the drop in the incidence of covid continues, despite the situation in China and the American variant called Kraken. The Primary Care strike in the Community of Madrid is reactivated and a strike is on the brink in 8 autonomous communities, while the emergencies are collapsed. Despite the plans, recent studies show that almost half of public health workers are temporary. In relation to the Strategic Plan of the pharmaceutical industry, both BIOSIM and AESEG, as well as the representatives of orphan drugs, position themselves with requests, in a clear attempt not to leave this plan only in the hands of large innovative companies, as suggested by the photo of La Moncloa, with Sánchez meeting with the main leaders of pharmaceutical multinationals.

In the field of Companies, internationally, relevant news for Pfizer, BioNTech and AstraZeneca. In our country, it is worth noting the steps taken by Viamed (new hospital in Tarragona), Ribera (great growth in turnover in 2022), Miranza (which continues its growth), Korian (which is preparing to integrate Group 5) and the CUN (which has just renovated part of its hospitalization area). For its part, KKR has completed the acquisition of IVI, an important in vitro fertilization company of Spanish origin.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

National health policy

Companies

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)