Posts

7 days in healthcare (June 5th-11th, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, to point out a new drug that gives hope to patients with certain brain tumors (low-grade gliomas). The amino acid taurine, related to the delay of aging. Biological drugs enter the treatment of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

As regards Global Health, the journal Nature publishes a set of articles on the effects of tobacco on health. Although the percentage of smokers has gone down from 1990 to 2019 (not the total number of smokers which has gone up, due to population growth), the battle against tobacco is not won. 14% of deaths globally in 2019 were due to tobacco. Whether nicotine is harmful to health is still being investigated. What is clear is that it is addictive, that is why it is said that you smoke because of the nicotine, but you die because of the tar. Difficult regulations against tobacco in Africa, due to the pressures of the industry and the lack of means. In Malaysia, suicide is going to be decriminalized, which is considered a good strategy for its prevention.

Regarding International Health Policy, regarding the covid, the weekly WHO report published on June 8 speaks of a decrease in new cases and mortality globally in the last 28 days, compared to the 28 days previous. The Lancet warns that this is not the time for complacency about the covid in Europe, since mortality continues to be unacceptably high. Interesting article from the New England Journal of Medicine on the origins of the covid, and the reasons that make it convenient to clarify that origin. In the United States, the debate on the negotiation of the price of medicines by Medicare continues, surely the most important health measure taken in the United States in recent years and which will have an impact not only in that country, but also in the pharmaceutical market, globally. Shortage of many medicines, some oncological in the USA. In the UK the difficult work continues for the report on the management of covid. The EU is discussing legislation to protect the health of sex workers.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the Ministry of Health submits the emergency MIR to public consultation, a long-standing promise, which surprisingly is launched almost during the electoral period. Psychiatrists denounce the need for these professionals, as Spain is one of the countries in Europe with fewer psychiatrists per 100,000 inhabitants, which contrasts with the increase in demand for mental health. Dentists, on the other hand, denounce from their Professional College, the growth in the number of dentists (26% growth in the last 10 years), having a high number of graduates, due to the proliferation of Dentistry Schools. In this case, on the other hand, it coincides with low dental care activity in Spain, in relative terms with other countries. Oncologists warn of an explosion of cancer cases by 2040, both globally and in Spain.

In the field of Companies, at the international level, Pfizer proposes a change in the payment model for antibiotics, proposing a kind of “subscription payment”, separating the volume from the value. Regarding the national situation, CASER announces growth in dental clinics and Hospitén a considerable investment in the Dominican Republic, where this company of Canary origin is very active.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

National health policy

Companies

 

 

7 days in healthcare (March 27th-April 2nd, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, the latest issue of The Lancet dedicates a special article and an editorial to chronic pain, which affects millions of people daily; For its part, the New England Journal of Medicine publishes a review and an editorial on Artificial Intelligence in medicine. It seems that humanity will soon break historical records in terms of longevity. It is also worth highlighting the advances that are being announced in regenerative medicine (xenotransplant, 3D organ printing and stem cells).

With regard to Global Health, the most important thing is the WHO’s warning to governments in dedicating efforts to health professionals, since many of them are close to retirement and the needs are increasing for many reasons.

Regarding International Health Policy, in the United States, the FDA authorizes the free sale of Narcan, a nasal spray against opioid overdose, which represents life or death for many people. In the United Kingdom, the popularity of the NHS is the lowest it has been for 40 years, when this type of study began.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), a new replacement in the Ministry of Health. Some consider that this Ministry has become the electoral launching pad for its incumbents (Illa, for Catalonia; Darias, for Las Palmas, and, apparently, Miñones, for Galicia). This approach, together with the short duration of the ministers, is one of the causes that contribute to the loss of prestige, leadership and role of the Ministry of Health, which has a policy of contingency management, but without a true project of transformation of the system, to propose to the different agents. The Minister of Health of Catalonia seems to have a plan to reinforce and retain professionals, something very necessary. I hope this plan works. The EMA has given the green light to the Spanish vaccine against the HIPRA covid, although only as a booster dose to the mRNA vaccines. Important social debate around surrogacy, as a result of the use of this procedure by a “celebrity”. Very different positions on the subject. Perhaps the most correct approach, as a quoted writer does, is to see who this procedure harms, if the parents, the unborn child, or the woman who lends her uterus. If the conclusion is that no one has been harmed, the most reasonable thing to do would be to approve this practice in our country, as it is in so many others.

In the field of Companies, internationally, BioNTech’s sales forecasts plummet, as a result of the lower demand for covid vaccines. At the national level, perhaps the most far-reaching news is the purchase by Viamed (Macquarie) of the Fátima hospital in Seville, after stiff competition with many other interested parties, including Vithas and Sanitas. Hospitales Parque (CASER) is set to grow at the rate of one hospital per year in the next three years.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

  • COVID
    • Data from Gisaid, the global repository of covid genomic data, increases the chances of discovering the origin of covid. Three years into the pandemic, it is still not certain whether the virus arose accidentally from a laboratory or was transmitted through an animal host (https://www.ft.com/content/f0733683-cb6d-4578-915a-aa60d7ba4c1d)

National Health Policy

Companies

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

 

Summary

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

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

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

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

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

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

National health policy

Companies

 

 

 

7 days in healthcare (November 28th-December 4th, 2022

 

Summary

From the point of view of biomedicine, the most noteworthy are the debatable but hopeful advances in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, a disease whose treatment has been investigated for many years, without results. A coalition (CEPI) that brings together governments, philanthropic entities and companies, intends to develop future vaccines in 100 days, a third of the record time in which the covid vaccine was developed. The “express” radiotherapy, of milliseconds, a great promise.

As regards Global Health, numerous cases of malaria are detected in Haiti, which had been eradicated three years ago. A mosquito (Anopheles) until now located in Asia, is spreading through Africa, with the risk of increasing malaria, due to its character as a vector of the malaria parasite.

As for international health policy, the most notable is what is happening in China, where, as The Economist says, a health problem is turning into a serious political crisis. In the UK, a negative consequence of Brexit is that the shortage of doctors has worsened.

If we talk about national health policy (Spain), in terms of covid, the incidence is decreasing. What has not just been published is the announced report on the analysis of the management of the crisis. Now it is said that in April, but with the regional and municipal elections in May, we could doubt the date. Harsh criticism of Miguel Sebastián on data management during the pandemic. Serious medical conflict both in Madrid and in the rest of Spain. In addition to job insecurity and poor medical work conditions, there are serious service problems for the population with waiting lists and difficulties in accessing Primary Care. That is the underlying problem, which is very serious, unavoidable and in some cases legitimate political uses on the side. Neither do private doctors seem to be treated very well: low tariffs, which require intensive work, with very little time for patients, are also a problem.

In the field of companies, at the international level we are getting to know Amazon’s most recent commitment to telemedicine a little better, it seems that it focuses on processes that are not very complex and very frequent. It does not seem that he wants to enter the “core” of the difficult health provision. An Alphabet company (Google) advances the use of artificial intelligence for drug discovery. At the national level, it is worth noting the initiatives of ITA, a new unit for neurodevelopmental disorders in Madrid; CASER, with a new residence for the elderly in Majadahonda; and HM Hospitales, which intends to create its own University for doctors.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

National Health Policy

Companies

7 days in healthcare (October 17th-23rd, 2022)

 

Summary

From the point of view of biomedicine, the announced “vaccine against cancer” should be highlighted, which could be prepared before 2030. Although not strictly a vaccine, it represents a promising treatment against this disease based on mRNA technology, the same used for covid vaccine.

Regarding Global Health, an important announcement by the WHO about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle, which could produce 500 million chronic patients in 2030. The WHO dedicates 2,600 million in its next strategy 2022-2026 for the eradication of polio .

Regarding international health policy, an important debate introduced by The Economist on the massive use of antidepressants, when only in 15% of cases do they have an effect other than placebo. Opioids in the United States and antidepressants worldwide are examples of the misuse of medications, which can lead to, and in many cases lead to, health problems. The post-pandemic horizon has generalized a hybrid work model (face-to-face and online) for office professionals.

If we talk about national health policy (Spain), the pressure on hospitals due to covid remains low, despite a slight rise in this disease. Intense debate on the flight of Spanish doctors to other countries, attracted by better salary and professional conditions. No matter how much the number of MIR vacancies and Faculties of Medicine increases, the problem will not be solved if working conditions are not acted upon. Teleconsultations seem to consolidate in Primary Care, already being more than 50% of the visits. The Trans law is the subject of great controversy. Most psychiatrists and psychologists, against. Obviously, we are in favor of the position of the WHO by removing from the list of diseases already in 2018 these cases of having a gender identity other than biological sex and wanting to change the morphology of their body. We welcome that there is a law on the subject as in most Western civilized countries. But one thing is that and another that 14-year-olds can choose sex without a psychological evaluation carried out by experts, who can rule out cases. Irreversible problems may occur. There is a certain consensus that the current wording of the law does not sufficiently protect minors.

In the field of companies, at the international level, we must welcome the first agreement with a pharmaceutical company (Novartis) to produce an anticancer drug as a generic that is still protected by patent, for its production in developing countries. As far as Spain is concerned, the continuous growth of health insurance should be highlighted, which in 2022 until September grows considerably more than the insurance as a whole.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International health policy

National health policy

Companies

7 days in healthcare (September 26th-October 2nd, 2022)

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, to review the advances, still to be confirmed, in the treatment of two terrible diseases: ALS and Alzheimer’s.

Regarding Global Health, concerns continue about the evolution of polio, whose eradication was announced in 2019, but which is reappearing in several countries.

Regarding International health policy, it is worth noting the similarities between the covid-zero policy in China and the era of prohibition in the United States, something pointed out by The Economist. Very worrying is the “burnout” of doctors, a phenomenon highlighted by the New York Times in the United States, but which seems to be universal.

If we talk about National health policy (Spain), the debates on the Equity Law continue. The update of the RD on the minimum data set of the SNS leaves out the private sector, despite the opposition of the POP, IMAS Foundation, IDIS Foundation and ASPE. It is a modification of a 2010 RD, but in twelve years the private sector has developed a lot and it is no longer so easy to leave it out in certain decisions. The Senate rejects the PP’s motion to facilitate access to medicines and reduce the time it takes to join the SNS. Surely the motion of the PP was too vague and, at this point, it is necessary to explain very well the “what” and the “how” of any proposal.

At the corporate level, at the international level, big rise in Biogen shares, spurred by what appear to be hopeful results from its Alzheimer’s drug. At the national level, there are rumors that KKR and CVC could be trying to buy Quirónsalud, currently in the hands of the German group Fresenius, which has recently changed its CEO. The Murcian company Vócali develops the Inbox Medical software for transcription of medical reports.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International health policy

National health policy

Companies

 

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

 

Summary

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

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

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

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

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

Biomedicine

Global Health

International health policy

  • COVID-19

o Serious problems continue in China with the “zero-covid” policy. The general impression is that the rhetoric of war does not help to defeat covid (https://www.economist.com/leaders/2022/04/30/chinas-martial-rhetoric-will-not-help-it-defeat- covid), while the global economic implications of the closure of Shanghai persist, the largest port in the world (https://www.epe.es/es/internacional/20220429/estrategia-covid-cero-china-dessolucion-inflacion-13586353)

o The “zero-covid” policy in China, a great personal bet of the leader Xi and difficult to be modified before his re-election for a third term (https://www.ft.com/content/33b7fcb2-bc88- 4a76-9b81-d561deaabc5c)

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

  • Other issues

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

o Very serious loss of prestige of the National Health Service, which is ending an almost religious adoration of this body in the United Kingdom. A survey says that global satisfaction dropped to 36%, something never known. Poor staff planning among major problems (https://www.economist.com/britain/2022/04/28/the-nhs-is-in-seriously-poor-shape)

National health policy (Spain)

  • COVID

o The cumulative incidence among people over 60 years of age continues to rise, reaching (April 29) 676.43 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, an increase of almost 70 points compared to the previous measurement. Occupation rate due to covid: 5.12% in the ward and 3.66% in the ICU (https://www.consalud.es/pacientes/especial-coronavirus/covid-19-espana-notifica-62695-casos-229- deceased-ia-exceeds-676-points_113987_102.html)

o The Ministry of Health reports almost 2,000 deaths in April, the first full month of “flu” from covid (https://www.elespanol.com/ciencia/salud/20220430/sanidad-notifica-muertes-primer-completo- flu-covid/668683313_0.html)

o Increase in the incidence of covid grows by 35% after Easter and there are already four regions with the unbridled incidence (Galicia, Navarra, Asturias and Castilla y León) (https://www.elespanol.com/ciencia/salud/20220428 /revenues-covid-semana-santa-ccaa-incident-runaway/668183406_0.html)

o The Ministry of Health will authorize the fourth dose for those over 80 years of age and those who live in residences, a total of about 3 million people (https://www.lavanguardia.com/vida/20220425/8219507/sanidad-autorizara- fourth-dose-vaccine-covid-older-80.html)

  • Regulatory announcements

o The Health Advertising Law presented by the PP fails, which is regretted by the professional associations, in particular that of dentists. Apparently, the Government is preparing a Royal Decree on the subject (https://www.diariofarma.com/2022/04/28/el-congreso-desestima-la-ley-de-publicidad-sanitaria-del-pp)

  • Other issues

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

o Interesting statements by José Ramón Repullo regarding the temporality of doctors and health professionals and their non-solution through the OPEs. He proposes national accreditation and contracting by centers, as exists in other countries (https://elpais.com/espana/madrid/2022-04-30/la-temporalidad-de-los-medicos-es-el-resultado -of-a-bad-system-worse-governed.html)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Companies

  • International News

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

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

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

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

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

  • National News

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

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

o Faes Farma profit grows 24% thanks to licenses and the Latin American market (https://www.eleconomista.es/pais_vasco/noticias/11743403/04/22/El-beneficio-de-Faes-Farma-crece -a-24-thanks-to-the-licenses-and-the-latin-american-market.html)

o Senniors disembark in Abu Dhabi with the support of the country’s sovereign wealth fund (https://www.plantadoce.com/empresa/senniors-desembarca-en-abu-dabi-con-el-apoyo-del-fondo-soberano-del -country.html)

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 days in healthcare (January 10-16, 2022)

 

SUMMARY

From the international point of view, several issues stand out. In the first place, the agreement of the French Assembly taken on Sunday, January 16, to prevent the access of the unvaccinated to leisure and restaurant premises; also Quebec’s initiative to introduce special taxes on the unvaccinated; the WHO’s opinion that it is too early for COVID “flu” policies, as proposed by Spain; the calculation by ISGlobal (Barcelona) that COVID has already left 17 million deaths globally; and the big push for research on neurodegenerative diseases.

As for national news, the SEMFYC (one of the Primary Care medical societies) editorial had a great impact defending the “flu” policies of COVID and, therefore, the minimization of measures, encouraging, consciously or unconsciously, the “light” negationism. This position was quickly adopted by the central government and certain authorities of the Community of Madrid. The central government even tried to lead this position at the international level. Rejection of this idea by other Primary Care societies, a large number of experts, the WHO and the EU. Meanwhile, the incidence of COVID continues to rise to figures never seen in other waves (2,923 cases per 100,000 inhabitants). The price of antigen tests is regulated, after multiple requests from various groups. It is agreed to extend the third and fourth doses. Serious problems regarding sick leave, for which solutions are articulated about the legality of which is in doubt. The purchase of COVID medicines is announced. Ayuso Plan to stimulate the birth rate in Madrid.

As far as companies and other actors are concerned, a group of scientists in Texas announce a vaccine against COVID, which, according to them, it will be cheaper, easier to make and patent-free. Pfizer announces that it will have a new vaccine against the “ómicron” variant ready in March

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • France: the Assembly approves by 215 votes against 58 the law that prevents the access of the unvaccinated to leisure and restaurant venues (Le Monde, Jan 16, 22)
  • Quebec’s plan on special taxes on the unvaccinated is well received in Europe. the argument is: “10% of the population cannot overload 90%”. Cold reception at the federal level in Canada and in other provinces. However, in Europe it is not receiving a bad reception: Greece and Austria already fine the unvaccinated, Italy is studying it, France extends the “covid passport” (BMJ, Jan 14, 22)
  • Fourth dose in Israel, which had already been announced for the immunosuppressed, is now being extended to health professionals and those over 60 years of age (Lancet Respir Med, Jan 11, 22)
  • The WHO considers that it is too early to treat COVID-19 as endemic, contradicting the Spanish government’s proposal, and predicts that half of Europeans can be infected (FT, Jan 11, 22)
  • COVID-19 pushed millions of Indians into poverty (The Economist, January 12,22)
  • Some experts predict a new COVID wave at the beginning of the summer (The Guardian, Jan 14, 22)
  • China’s zero COVID policy is creating problems for the manufacturing and distribution chain sectors (FT, Jan 16, 22)
  • Beijing reports the first case of the “ómicron” variant (The Guardian, Jan 15, 22)
  • COVID would have already left 17 million dead in the world (the official figures are 5.5 million), according to a study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, sponsored by the La Caixa Foundation (Diario Médico, Jan 15, 22)
  • The Epstein-Barr virus may play a role in the development of multiple sclerosis (NYT, Jan 13, 22)
  • The Economist looks at how healthcare is evolving into a consumer product (The Economist, Jan 15, 22)
  • Great boost to research on neurodegenerative diseases, with 260 drugs under development: Alzheimer’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s, multiple sclerosis, multiple systemic atrophy, Parkinson’s and others (Diariofarma, Jan 14, 22)

NATIONAL NEWS

  • Incidence of COVID and evolution of the sixth wave

o As of January 13, 2022, the 14-day cumulative incidence of COVID amounts to 2,923 cases/100,000 inhabitants. It is not clear if the peak of the wave has been reached or if we are still going up. In any case, the figures are very high (Official data Ministry of Health, update to  Jan 13, 22)

o Almost half of the Spanish provinces have ICUs at very high risk (El País, Jan 12, 22)

o The debate on those hospitalized “for” COVID and “with” COVID is introduced (El Independiente, Jan 10, 22)

  • “Influenzaization of the pandemic”

o An editorial in a journal of the SEMFYC (Spanish Society of Primary and Community Care Physicians), one of the three scientific societies of Primary Care, advocates the “influenza” approach  of the COVID, avoiding counting individual cases and omitting general measures of protection (AMF-SEMFYC, Towards the end of the exceptionality, Jan 10, 22)

o The other scientific societies of Primary Care, as well as most of the experts, took a stand against the previous proposal, at least until the sixth wave was passed.

o Notwithstanding the foregoing, both the President of the Government and Minister Darias, and certain representatives of the Community of Madrid, expressed their agreement with the approach as “influenza”

o Not only that, but that approach was taken to the WHO, which showed its disagreement. Spain wants to lead this debate in the EU (El Periódico de España, Jan 12, 22)

  • Regulation of the price of antigen tests

o The government (Interministerial Commission on the Price of Medicines) limits the price of antigen tests to 2.94 euros and they will continue to be sold only in pharmacies, with entry into force on Saturday, January 15, 2022. The price is 50% more expensive than in France and Germany (El País, Jan 13, 22)

o During the free sale period, the gross margin for pharmacies was 25-50% (El Economista, Jan 13, 22)

o FEFE expresses its “deep discomfort” at having to sell the tests at a loss (diariofarma, Jan 14, 22)

  • The third and fourth doses are extended

o The Ministry of Health announces a fourth dose for patients at risk and will extend the third to those over 18 years of age (La Razón, Jan 13, 22)

  • Purchase of COVID medications

o Spain closes an agreement with Pfizer to buy 344,000 doses of its drug against COVID

o The regions were unaware of this and ask for an equitable distribution (El Español, Jan 11, 22)

  • Serious problem with sick leave

o COVID causes more than 10,000 sick leaves per day in Spain (El Independiente, Jan 11, 22)

o This situation collapses health centers

o A system is put in place so that discharge and discharge (after 7 days) take place in the same act. Madrid calls for a regulatory change, to which the Government does not seem willing (El Economista Jan 12, 22)

  • Ayuso Plan to stimulate the birth rate in Madrid

o It is intended to go from 50,000 to 70,000 births/year in the region. The plan consists of aid of 500 euros, flexible working hours, deductions and support for assisted reproduction (La Razón, Jam 10, 22)

  • Other themes

o FACME disagrees with the recertification plan of the Ministry of Health, which launched a tender to hire a consultant (Official note from FACME,  Jan 13, 22)

o Teachers facing the return to classes, doubts with the new protocol and fears (El País, Jan 10, 22)

o A court condemns the Generalitat Valenciana to compensate the toilets for not giving them the means of protection (El País, Jan 11, 22)

o Ingesa attempts an agreement on biosimilars, which does not have the agreement of BIOSIM (diariofarma, Jan 9, 22)

COMPANIES, EMPLOYERS AND MAIN ACTORS IN HEALTH

  • A group of scientists in Texas announce a vaccine (CORBEVAX) that is cheaper, easier to make and patent-free (The Guardian, Jan 15, 22)
  • GSK rejects UNILEVER’s offer of 50,000 million pounds for its consumer division (FT, Jan 15, 22)
  • Medicare introduces major restrictions on the use of Biogen’s drug against Alzheimer’s (NYT, Jan 11, 22)
  • Adeslas will enter 1,655 million euros for MUFACE and ASISA 1,268 (PlantaDoce, Jan 12, 22)
  • Vivanta adjusts its network of centers, putting its beauty business up for sale (PlantaDoce, Jan 12, 22)
  • Pfizer says that it will have a new vaccine against “ómicron” ready in March (Redacción Médica, Jan 10, 22)
  • Merck acquires the US company EXELEAD for 789 million dollars (PlantaDoce, Jan 7, 22)
  • Medtronic reaches an agreement to acquire Affera (ConSalud, Jan 14, 22)
  • Eugin acquires the Delaware Institute of Reproductive Medicine (PlantaDoce, Jan 10, 22)
  • Caser Residencial acquires a new social health center in Laguna de Duero (PlantaDoce, Jan 13, 22)