7 days in healthcare (May 15th-21st, 2023)



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.


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 (

National health policy




7 days in healthcare (October 24th-30th, 2022)



From the point of view of Biomedicine, it is worth highlighting the studies that show that certain types of breast cancer, which respond to chemotherapy, will not require surgery. The link between Alzheimer’s and certain viruses is surprising. As for proton therapy, it seems that an increase in its indications (prostate, lung, etc.) is in sight.

As far as Global Health is concerned, the WHO study on a prioritized list of fungal threats should be noted. Cases of resistant tuberculosis, on the rise, which is a big problem with high mortality. Shortage of cholera vaccines. “Nature” magazine considers the possible second term of Bolsonaro in Brazil as a threat to science, democracy, the environment and the world. Said alarm had already been launched by this magazine as a result of his first term.

As for International Health Policy, monkeypox is in clear recession and covid is apparently less serious, possibly due to increased immunity. The truth is that mortality and cases requiring hospitalization are falling. Plan in the United Kingdom so that pharmacies can collaborate in the treatment of minor disorders (hypertension, high cholesterol, etc.)

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), a surprising proposal from ASPE to the Ministry of Health for the homologation of foreign doctors through a kind of two-year express MIR. The problem is surely more complex and it should be considered that we are one of the countries with the most doctors per 1,000 inhabitants and the most Faculties of Medicine. To analyze the shortage by areas and specialties, as well as the expansion of nursing work. It is doubtful that exporting quality doctors after an excellent MIR and importing foreign doctors with an express MIR is the solution. Perhaps the salary and working conditions of Spanish doctors should also be considered. Also striking is the new approach of the PSOE in terms of the Trans law, which tries to involve judges in changing sex between 12 and 15 years, compared to the bill approved by the Council of Ministers, which did not contemplate this possibility. AESEG, very willing to increase the use of generics, through regulatory and price changes.

In the field of Companies, at the international level, the extensive job cuts at Philips are striking, after its withdrawal of devices for sleep apnea. As for Spain, Sanitas publishes a study on mental health, which shows that the private health sector is agile in its response to a serious problem, which has become more evident after covid. Orange’s agreement with Mapfre confirms the great interest of telecommunications platforms in the world of health and their need to ally with traditional operators.


Global Health

International health policy

National health policy



7 days in healthcare (October, 10th-16th, 2022)



From the point of view of biomedicine, to review the advances in knowledge of the human organ that, to a large extent, remains a mystery, the brain: the implantation of human cells in mice, which can send signals and the creation of a kind of synthetic intelligence, by verifying that nerve cells in a dish can learn. In the United States, it is found that mortality from breast cancer has decreased a lot, due to early detection and better treatments. Something that is not exclusive to the United States and that surely also occurs in Spain.

As far as Global Health is concerned, the serious health problems, for very different reasons, in Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Lebanon must be highlighted.

Regarding international health policy, there is great concern in the WHO and other organizations about the effects of persistent covid. Threat of hospitals in Germany by covid. The Economist introduces the debate on the legalization of cocaine, which it strongly defends, considering that the problems of an illegal market far outweigh those that could arise in a controlled market. Put the simile of whiskey and cigarettes.

If we talk about national health policy (Spain), the rise in the incidence of covid continues, although in Spain without notably affecting hospitals. Promising launch of the Neurotechnology Center in Madrid.

In the field of companies, at the international level, the WTO (World Trade Organization) continues with its efforts to free the patents of medicines related to covid. As far as Spain is concerned, HIPRA suffers a new delay in the approval of its vaccine by the EMA, which practically excludes it from the fourth dose vaccination campaign.


Global Health

International health policy

  • European Union
    • A step forward towards a Europe of health. The reinforcement of the ECDC (European Center for Disease Prevention and Control), the EMA (European Medicines Agency) and the creation of the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority, constitute important steps towards a European policy of health, something not contemplated in the founding European treaties (
  • The debate on the legalization of cocaine
  • New Code of Medical Ethics
    • Approved the new International Code of Medical Ethics of the World Medical Association. After the initial version of this Code in 1949, a new wording has been approved at the General Assembly of the World Medical Association, held in Berlin in October 2022 (

National health policy




7 days in healthcare (April 4-10, 2022)



From the point of view of biomedicine, it is worth highlighting the fact, highlighted by the journal Nature, that the WHO took more than two years to recognize the airborne transmission of covid. A new generation of vaccines that prevent cancer can make tumors disappear before they appear, according to an article in Science. The natural experiment from South Korea and Hong Kong shows that the “omicron” variant can be fatal in unvaccinated people.

As far as Global Health is concerned, the situation in Ukraine gives us difficult lessons in global health, explains the editor of The Lancet. It should be noted that the black American population already exceeds the white population in mortality from opioids. Until now, deaths from this cause occurred mainly in “non-colleged educated” whites.

Regarding international health policy, the European health agencies (EMA and ECDC) say that it is too early for the second “booster” of the covid vaccine. Ten years of “Choosing Wisely” the revolution in medical practice that tries to minimize worthless or low value health interventions.

If we talk about national health policy (Spain), the appearance of the 2022 Health Barometer (First wave) is important. It should be noted that waiting lists are the main concern of the population; the delay in a high percentage of cases to see a primary care physician; and that the positive perception of the public system decreases, while that of the private system increases. Report on health professionals, which says that within five years there will be a shortage of 9,000 doctors.

In the field of companies, from the international point of view, Moderna’s agreement with the non-profit entity IAVI to apply mRNA technology to various diseases should be highlighted. SpainCares confirms that Spain is not in an advantageous position with regard to health tourism.





o The United States donates more than 100 million doses of covid vaccine for children (

o Shanghai residents beg for food and medicine as authorities lock down the city (

o Olaf Scholz, German Chancellor, fails in Parliament with his plan to make the vaccine mandatory (

o COVID deaths rise in the UK, with infections at record highs ( )

o The European health agencies (EMA and ECDC) say that it is too early for the second covid vaccine “booster” ( booster-europe.html)

  • Other themes

o Ten years of “Choosing Wisely”, which revolutionized medical practice based on recommendations of “do not do”, to reduce low-value health care ( NEJMp2200422)

o Life expectancy in the US continues to decline in 2021, despite covid vaccines (

o Oklahoma passes one of the toughest anti-abortion laws in the US, following a Republican strategy (

o Important report by the Nuffield Trust on the recovery of health systems after covid, analyzing the situation in several countries ( international-lessons-for-the-nhs)

o Great impact in the United Kingdom of the Ockenden Report, on maternity care, with the detection of serious problems, published by the British Government ( the-ockenden-review/ockenden-review-summary-of-findings-conclusions-and-essential-actions)



o Decrease in the incidence of covid: up to 420.17 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over 60 years of age, according to the new measurement method (

o The mask will no longer be mandatory indoors on April 20 (

o COVID only worries 30% of Spaniards, according to the COSMO Spain study, coordinated by the Carlos III Health Institute ( -spanish-two-years-pandemic_2002232_102.html)

  • Other themes

o The 2022 Health Barometer (First wave) appears ( Some data of interest: the waiting lists, the worst valued by the Spanish ( ); 55% of patients take more than 7 days to get an appointment with their family doctor ( family-doctor-appointment.html); lowers the positive perception of the public system and increases that of the private (

o Within five years there will be a shortage of almost 9,000 doctors (, according to the report “Supply-need for medical specialists 2021- 2035”, prepared by Patricia Barber and Beatriz González López-Valcárcel (

o “Case of masks” a loot of 2,000 million for the purchase of material during the state of alarm ( -in-the-law-of-the-jungle.html)

o WAIT Report: Spain falls in time for access to new medicines ( -in-europe-between-2017-y-2020), to see the WAIT report:

o Published the “Report on the initial budgets of the Public Administrations” (AIREF, April 7, 2022) ( -initials-2021-.pdf)

o Spain leads the world consumption of benzodiazepines (


  • International News

o Moderna reaches an agreement with IAVI (non-profit association) to apply mRNA to various diseases ( -mRNA-for-various-diseases.html)

o Pfizer buys the British biotech company ReViral for 481 million euros (

  • National News

o David Medina (Spaincares): “In the tourism-health binomial, we are not in the top ranking” ( -we-are-not-at-the-top-of-the-ranking.html)

o Savana closes a round of 23 million euros, hand in hand with Conexo Ventures ( the-hand-of-connected-ventures.html)

o Sanitas shoots up sales of health insurance by 47%, with 377,000 new policies (

o PharmaMar and CNIO allocate 1.2 million euros to testing breast cancer drugs ( euros-to-test-drugs-against-breast-cancer.html)

o Miranza underpins its expansion, reaching 80.6 million euros ( -millions-of-euros.html)

o Farmasierra celebrates its 25th anniversary, reinforcing R&D ( html)

o Pfizer will export gene therapies from Spain to America (


7 days in healthcare (February 14-20, 2022)





In biomedicine, we have to highlight the studies that are confirming a modest association between an increased incidence of mental illness after COVID.

As far as Global Health is concerned, mention should be made of the book by Ed Miliband, a British parliamentarian, former leader of the Labor Party and minister with Gordon Brown, which amounts to a manifesto on public health in the wider sense, which, at the moment, is already beginning to be a literary genre, among which the books by Gordon Brown, Minouche Shafik, Fareed Zakaria and, soon, Bill Gates stand out.

Regarding international health policy, verifying that the calculation of excess mortality is the best way to assess mortality from COVID. The problem is that this may be valid for Europe and the Americas, but not for Asia and Africa, where the low mortality figures are hardly credible. Gordon Brown, former British Prime Minister, asks the G20 for a global financial solution to tackle the pandemic, similar to what was done in the 1960s with smallpox. The Economist highlights Africa’s low capacity for vaccine production, in contrast to its large population.

Regarding the national health policy, the first thing to mention is the drop in the incidence of COVID, which last Friday reached 919 per 100,000 inhabitants, which is compatible with the fact that mortality skyrockets in the sixth wave and there is a delay in receiving the new antivirals. The government approves the Science Law project, with controversial elements among researchers. The massive retirement of professionals (including doctors) is probably the most far-reaching problem of the SNS. The SEOM (Spanish Society of Medical Oncology) denounces the lack of equity in access to drugs and markers.

In business news, we must mention the FENIN declaration in favor of the manufacture of medical technology in Spain, to avoid dependency in the event of pandemics; also that the fifth vaccine approved in Europe (NOVAVAX) receives authorization to be manufactured in Galicia (Porriño); Rovi extends its alliance with Moderna for the manufacture of vaccines for ten years.






o The incidence of COVID drops to 919 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, with 7.8% occupancy of hospital beds due to COVID and 13.7% of ICU beds ( -coronavirus/covid-19-spain-records-30615-cases-288-deaths-ia-baja-919_110353_102.html)

o Deaths from covid skyrocket in the sixth wave (

o Waiting for the antivirals that Sánchez promised in January (

o Public health detects an explosion of scabies cases related to the pandemic ( scabies-related-to-the-pandemic.html)

o Sports events capacity returns to 100% on March 4 (

  • Political announcements

o The Government approves the Science Law project that the sector sees with room for improvement ( -improveable.html?check_logged_in=1)

o Changes in the portfolio of services: more oral health and screening ( y-screened-6455)

o Spain adheres to the International Vaccine Institute (

  • Other issues

o Health approves the new vaccination schedule for 2022 (

o Strong mobilizations in the Andalusian health sector (

o Mass retirement of health workers: a drag on the SNS (

o Private healthcare demands a clear legal framework in the National Security Law ( security-law-8788)

o Lack of equity in access to drugs and markers (


7 days in healthcare (January 24-30, 2022)



From the point of view of biomedicine, the concern regarding resistance to antibiotics continues, after the extensive report published by The Lancet. This pandemic produces more deaths than AIDS and malaria. New variant of “ómicron” appeared in Denmark.

With regard to global health, the tenth anniversary of the declaration on “Neglected tropical diseases” should be highlighted, which provides an opportunity to reflect on a change in which progress has been made, but much remains to be done. COVAX does not have the capacity to receive more donations in the absence of basic financing for the purchase of syringes and other materials, essential to administer the vaccine.

As for international news, the WHO will publish a plan for the transition of the pandemic to the “control phase” in February. IHI initiative, of the European Union, to create a public/private platform for drug research.

In national news from Spain, the sixth wave seems to be starting to subside in terms of new cases, but still with high mortality. Interesting report promoted by Vitaldent on the public financing of dental care. Biosim highlights the savings potential of biosimilars in 2022. The issue of professional recertification advances, with a leading role for FACME.

In company news, the approval by the EMA of Paxlovid, Pfizer’s antiviral pill against COVID, is important. Also the large expected growth in turnover by COVID vaccine manufacturers in 2022 (29%, compared to 2021). Boom of online psychology platforms


  • It is time to confront the pandemic of antibiotic resistance, since this resistance causes more deaths than AIDS and malaria. AMR Action Fund, a public/private initiative to develop new antibiotics, is underway (FT, January 28, 22)
  • The new BA.2 omicron, which appeared in Denmark, the stealthy variant of the “‘omicron”, warns the WHO that it may not be detectable with PCR (La Razón, January 25, 22)
  • New research identifies the 4 factors that can favor prolonged covid (NYT, January 25, 22)

Global health

  • 10th anniversary of the London declaration on “Neglected tropical diseases”, much progress has been made. Trachoma, schistosomiasis and visceral leishmaniasis are the most frequent of this type of disease (The Lancet, January 29, 22)
  • Developed countries throw away 61.5 million vaccines for having expired in 2021 (El Español, January 28, 22)
  • World Day against Leprosy, the covid pandemic has silenced it, a disease almost eradicated in Europe but still present in the world (ConSalud, January 30, 22)
  • Lack of funding to buy syringes and other accessories means COVAX cannot accept new doses of vaccines (FT, 25 Jan 22)
  • The United States donated 400 million doses of covid vaccine to 112 countries, according to the White House (The Guardian, January 26, 22)
  • Project Syndicate magazine publishes an analysis (How Much Has the Pandemic Cost?) of the economic impact of the pandemic, based on years of life lost and the value of life in different countries. If the official figure of 5.6 million dead at the end of 2021 is taken, this means 38 trillion (American) dollars or 40% of global GDP; If the estimate of deaths from The Economist (17 million) is taken, we would reach 114 trillion or 120% of global GDP (Project Syndicate, January 27, 22)

International News

  • The WHO will publish in February a plan for the transition of the pandemic to the “control phase” (La Razón, January 24, 22)
  • Notable increase in telemedicine in Medicare (USA) during the pandemic (JAMA, January 25, 22)
  • The British Medical Association recommends the use of FPP3 mask to health professionals who have to deal with patients with viral respiratory disease (BMJ, 21 January 22)
  • The new normal in New Zealand goes from covid 0 to covid acceptance (The Guardian, 26 January 22)
  • An Israeli panel recommends the fourth dose to all adults (FT 25 Jan 22)
  • In Canada, demonstrations against compulsory vaccination (The Guardian, January 30, 22)
  • The European Union launches IHI, a public/private initiative for drug research, as a continuation of the Innovative Medicines Initiative, which was launched in 2008 (Acta Sanitaria, January 26, 22)

National News


o The epidemic curve in Spain consolidates its decline, but experts call for caution (El País, January 29, 22)

o The sixth wave already registers 5,674 deaths from covid and could exceed the sixth before February (El Español, January 27, 22)

o Health and the communities extend the limited capacity at sporting events (El País, January 26, 22)

o The anti-vaccines are responsible for increasing deaths by 32% in the sixth wave, according to Fedea (El Español, January 24, 22)

o Those vaccinated have a hundred times less chance of dying if they become infected (El Mundo, January 28, 22)

o Catalonia abolishes the covid passport (La Razón, January 26, 22)

  • Other issues

o Financing dental health (one of the promises of the PSOE-Unidos Podemos government program) will cost the State 5,423 million euros, according to a study promoted by Vitaldent and presented to the Ministry of Health (El Economista, January 25, 22)

o A third of doctors will retire in the next five years (The Objective, January 28, 22)

o Telemedicine is good for reducing CO2 into the atmosphere, it would reduce 277,120 tons of CO2 in Spain in Primary Care alone, according to the report prepared by “GEN Europe Energy Solutions” (ConSalud, January 28, 22)

o More than 13,000 applicants opt for the 8,200 MIR places in the exam on January 29 (Acta Sanitaria, January 28, 22)

o Biosim puts the savings on biosimilars at 1,048 million euros in 2022 (diariofarma, January 26, 22)

o FACME claims its role in the recertification and creates a specific council, chaired by Cecilio Santander (Diario Médico, January 28, 22)

o ISFAS statement on difficulties in negotiating insurance companies-hospital groups for the coverage of this group (Sanifax, January 24, 22)

Companies, employers and other agents of the sector

  • The EMA approves Paxlovid, Pfizer’s antiviral pill against covid (El Economista, January 27, 22)
  • The large vaccine manufacturers will invoice 75,000 million euros for the covid vaccine this year 2022, this is a 29% jump over the estimate for 2021, according to the consulting firm Airfinity (CincoDías, January 25, 22)
  • Pfizer will produce 120 million doses of its drug against covid in Europe (El Español, January 29, 22)
  • Cinfa leads the market in pharmacies and Novartis in hospitals (CincoDías, January 24, 22)
  • The French group Orpea with problems in its listing due to accusations of mistreatment (FT, January 27, 22)
  • BioNTech begins clinical trial for “ómicron” vaccine (FT, January 25, 22)
  • The business of mental health: boom in online psychology platforms (El Periódico de España, 30 January 22)
  • Mifarma (the leading company in Europe for the online sale of pharmacy and parapharmacy products) reinforces its position in Spain with a new image and online platform (La Razón, January 25, 22)
  • United Imaging Healthcare lands in Spain hand in hand with APR Salud (PlantaDoce, January 25, 22)
  • Sanitas is interested in the purchase of the IMQ (Redacción Médica, January 26, 22)
  • Healthcare Activos continues its expansion and will buy a residence in Ferrol (PlantaDoce, January 21, 22)
  • Corachán becomes stronger in Barcelona with a new center in Sarriá (PlantaDoce, 27 January 22)

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



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

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

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


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


  • Situation of the pandemic

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

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

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

o Two opposing positions:

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

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

  • Sick leave

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

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

  • Recertification

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

  • Situation schools

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

  • Health insurance

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

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

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

  • Other issues

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

7 days in healthcare (December 27, 2021-January 2, 2022)





From an international point of view, to highlight the 50th anniversary of “Médecins sans Frontières”; also the impressive success of vaccines that saved hundreds of thousands of lives globally; the great expansion of COVID by the “omicron” variant, which is leading to the record of infections in many countries; as well as the strengthening of three important institutions linked to health in the European Union: the ECDC, the EMA and the HERA. To verify that COVID produced more deaths globally in 2021 than in 2020.

With regard to national news, it should be noted that Spain leads the number of infections in Europe, in the midst of a collapse of Primary Care and pressure on hospital emergencies and, little by little, also on hospitalization areas and ICUs. Antigen tests are scarce and, in addition, they are very expensive. The government submits the MUFACE model to AIReF’s evaluation, which is good news, if that evaluation is done rigorously. The Community of Madrid is tackling a very difficult project: the creation of a health purchasing center. Once again, it is necessary to do it very well, obtain the synergies of the large public buyer, without altering the autonomy of the centers and without evaluating exclusively the price of the items, but other elements (quality, safety for the patient, technical service, etc.)

In relation to companies, it should be noted that this year we will probably see the first Spanish vaccine (HIPRA) in operation, also that El Corte Inglés, Carrefour and Alcampo offer to sell COVID tests in their establishments, something until now reserved for pharmacies.



  • Eight medical advances (not related to COVID) in 2021: 1. The structure of proteins, within reach of an algorithm; 2. Live CRISPR; 3. Closer to the chimera (monkey-human chimeras); 4. New and controversial drug against Alzheimer’s: 5. Neuroprosthesis to communicate; 6. Avoid relapses into depression; 7. Impact of salt on strokes; and 8. Triple “jump” in child transplantation (Diario Médico, Dec 31 21)
  • 50 years after the creation of “Médecins sans Frontières” (Doctors without Borders), founded in 1971, as an independent non-governmental association, currently formed by 25 national or regional associations, which works in more than 70 countries and employs in around 45,000 people (The Lancet, 1 Jan 22)
  • One year of COVID vaccines. In the USA alone there are more than 200 million vaccinated, and the vaccine has prevented millions of COVID-19 cases, thousands of hospitalizations and saved hundreds of thousands of lives. An unprecedented success. Experience indicates that vaccines alone do not save lives, it is the vaccination process that saves them (including manufacturing, distribution and administration), which requires robust organizations (JAMA, Dec 21, 21)
  • The Wellcome’s Global Monitor 2020, which assesses trust in science and scientists, is released. The survey covers 113 countries. Although with large regional differences, it is detected that confidence in science grew during the pandemic (The Lancet, 1 Jan 22)
  • COVID leaves more deaths in the world in 2021 than in the year of its outbreak (El Confidencial, 1 Jan 22)
  • The “omicron” variant produces records of infections in 20 countries, among which are Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States (FT, Dec 31 21)
  • The United States reduces the period of isolation due to COVID to 5 days (FT, Dec 28 21)
  • The WHO warns of a “tsunami of cases” due to the “omicron” and Delta variants (FT, Dec 29 21)
  • WHO says the pandemic may overwhelm health systems, as cases reach records in Europe (FT, The Guardian, Dec 29 21)
  • Shortage of COVID tests in the UK, as cases rise (FT, Dec 29 21)
  • Europe: promoting the “European Health Union”, reinforcing the ECDC (European Center for Disease Prevention and Control) and the EMA (European Medicines Agency) and activating the creation of the HERA (European Preparedness and Response to Health Emergencies Agency), which is expected to start operating in early 2022, with an initial budget of 6,000 million euros, although it is expected to reach 30,000 million, with contributions from the States and the private sector (ConSalud, 30 Dec 21)
  • Persistent COVID and its more than 200 sequels already have an official definition (El País, Dec 28 21)
  • According to a survey, one in four Britons do not believe that the NHS can serve them well, which is surprising given the extraordinary prestige of the NHS so far in the UK (The Guardian, 26 Dec 21)


  • “Redacción Médica” analyzes the 10 highlights of 2021: 1. COVID has not abandoned us; 2. Filomena tests the capacity for healing; 3. Relief in the Ministry of Health: Darias instead of Illa; 4. Euthanasia, regulated by Law; 5. Spanish stamp for the first public CART therapy in Europe; 6. Controversial choice of MIR places; 7. Industry is ahead of the virus, with an arsenal of vaccines and treatments; 8. Muface “illuminates” the future of health mutualism; 9. Several strategies in Spanish health: Cancer, Mental Health and Primary Care; and, 10. Various variants of COVID (Redacción Médica, Dec 31 21)
  • Elements that are considered essential for 2022: COVID, Primary Care and Mental Health. The Center for Public Health and improvements for professionals is also expected (ConSalud, 1 Jan 22)
  • Spain closes 2021 at the head of infections in Europe (Diario Médico, Dec 31 21)
  • On December 30, 21, the COVID rate reached 1,775 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Despite everything, no new official information on the number of cases will be published until January 3 (El Español, Dec 31 21)
  • The collapse in primary care due to COVID leads to hospital emergencies (, Dec 26 21)
  • Health and communities agree to reduce the COVID quarantine period to 7 days (La Razón, Dec 29, 21)
  • Antigen tests in Spain: scarcity and high prices, while in other countries (France and the United Kingdom) they are free (El Debate, 1 Jan 22)
  • The Spanish Medicines Agency advises not to buy antigen tests online (El Debate, Dec 28 21)
  • The Council of Ministers endorses the Plan to improve Primary Care (Health Act, Dec 28 21)
  • Numerous unions and scientific societies (especially those linked to Primary Care) demonstrate against the approved Plan (Consalud, Dec 31 21)
  • The MUFACE model will be subject to review, the government instructs AIReF to evaluate it (El Español, Dec 28 21)
  • Very important draft bill of the Community of Madrid: “Draft Bill of urgent measures to promote economic activity and modernization of the Administration of the Community of Madrid”. Article 44 of the preliminary draft develops the Sanitary Contracting Agency of the Community of Madrid, which becomes a health purchasing center for Madrid. It is more than foreseeable that this is a controversial law with suppliers. (Draft project disseminated by the Community of Madrid:



  • 2022: the year in which the first Spanish vaccine will reach patients (El Español, Dec 30 21)
  • Private healthcare, years ahead of the SNS in telemedicine (Redacción Médica, Dec 29 21)
  • J&J (Janssen) Vaccine Protects Against Severe “Omicron”, Study Says (NYT, Dec 30, 21)
  • Teva found liable in the US opioid trial (NYT, Dec 30 21)
  • HM acquires a plot of land in Tres Cantos, for the construction of a university hospital (Acta Sanitaria, 23 Dec 21)
  • HM buys the Dr. Gálvez clinic in Malaga, the fourth clinic that the HM group buys in the region (Málagahoy, Dec 31 21)
  • Atrys has 100 million to buy health companies (El Economista, Dec 29 21)
  • Antigen test manufacturers (such as Abbott, Siemens Healthineers and Roche groups) end the year skyrocketing on the stock market (CincoDías, Dec 28, 21)
  • El Corte Inglés, Carrefour or Alcampo offer to sell antigen tests at their centers, according to their employer Anged (CincoDías, Dec 30 21)
  • Magnum Capital starts the international leap of its Miranza ophthalmology clinics: Portugal and Andorra (CincoDías, Dec 27 21)
  • The Jiménez Díaz Foundation leads for the sixth consecutive year the Hospital Excellence Index of the Coordinates Institute (ABC, Dec 27 21)

7 days in healthcare (15-21 November, 2021)



From the international point of view, the plan of the American Democrats to negotiate the price of medicines and its possible impact on innovation continues to be discussed; Europe is once again the engine of the pandemic, with demonstrations in some European cities against confinements and COVID passport measures; and finally, the United States reach a peak in mortality from opioid as the covid pandemic continues.

At the national level, four elements of interest: 1. Spain exceeds 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, although the situation is worrying, nothing to do with that of other European countries; 2. The state-of-the-art health PERTE is presented, doubts regarding its reformist impact; 3. Publication of the draft law that aims to consolidate the universality and equity of our National Health System; 4. The waiting lists are published as of June 30, 2021.

In terms of company news, perhaps most relevant is that both Merck and Pfizer’s COVID therapies will be available in generics for low- and middle-income countries.


  • Request for action in Afghanistan, given the food emergency, by the director of the World Food Program. Disaster is the consequence of conflict, economic collapse and drought (The Lancet, Nov 20 21)
  • Intense debate in the USA about the consequences for pharmaceutical innovation of the regulatory framework on the price of drugs that the Biden Administration wants to approve (NEJM, Nov 18, 21)
  • Democrats in the USA have a plan to reduce the price of drugs, without harming innovation (The Economist, Nov 20 21)
  • A year after the decision of the British NHS to move towards zero carbon emissions by the health system, another 13 countries, including Spain, have joined this approach, which entails important changes, especially in supply chains (The Lancet, Nov 17 21)
  • Europe is once again the engine of the pandemic, with the extremely worrying situation in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hungary, Romania and Russia, among others (Le Monde, 17 Nov 21)
  • Austria returns to lockdown (The Guardian, Nov 18 21)
  • Thousands of people protest in Vienna against confinement and mandatory vaccination (El País, 20 Nov 21)
  • Germany tightens restrictions on the unvaccinated and will force health workers and nursing home workers to be vaccinated (El País, 18 Nov 21)
  • Bavaria cancels Christmas markets, given the growth of the pandemic (The Guardian, 19 Nov 21)
  • The third dose can be extended to all adults, says British Health Minister Sajid Javid (The Guardian,
  • The majority of the European population, in favor of COVID passports (The Guardian, 19 Nov 21)
  • The use of masks reduces the incidence by 53%, according to an international study published in the British Medical Journal (The Guardian, 18 Nov 21)
  • In the USA, mortality from opioid overdose reaches record growth, while the pandemic continues (NYT, Nov 17, 21)
  • Fauci says the pandemic may be under control in 2022, with more third doses (The Guardian, Nov 17, 21)
  • Europe will prioritize the local manufacture of drugs to gain autonomy. This coming week the new EU pharmaceutical strategy will be approved (El Economista 21 Nov 21)


  • Spain exceeds 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants for the first time in two months (El País, 18 Nov 21). Comment: although the situation is worrying, it has nothing to do, however serious, with that of other parts of Europe. It seems that the high immunization, the fifth wave and the high percentage of vaccination are at the origin of this situation. However, we do not know if this differential is going to be maintained or we are heading towards a situation similar to that of most of the rest of Europe.
  • The autonomous communities denounce that they once again lack legal tools in the face of another wave of the pandemic (El Mundo, Nov 21, 21)
  • The state-of-the-art health PERTE is presented, which entails 1,489 million investment until 2023 (diariofarma, 15 Nov 21). Comment: there is no transformation in the sense of reforming the health system (which they consider good) and it is an investment aimed at the biotechnology industry. Mentions of primary care are imprecise. In summary: facing the transformation of the health system and to what extent European funds can help, including digitization, is an issue that remains to be seen
  • Published the Draft Law that modifies various regulations to consolidate equity, universality and cohesion of the National Health System, which seeks to prevent co-payments and promote direct management (Diario Médico, Nov 16 21)
  • Waiting lists published as of June 30, 2021: 121 days on average to undergo surgery and 75 days to visit a specialist. 661,162 people, waiting for an intervention. The lists are close to those in 2019 (La Vanguardia, Nov 26 21)
  • ASPE offers its collaboration to end the waiting lists (Medical Redaction, Nov 18 21)
  • Summer-22 is set as the limit to reform the Framework Statute in the summer of 2022, for which it is announced that there will be minor changes to adapt to the Basic Statute of Public Employees and the labour conditions of residents (Diario Médico, Nov 18, 21)
  • The Public Health Center will go to the Council of Ministers soon (Consalud, 19 Nov 21)


  • Pfizer’s anticovid pill will be sold as a generic drug in 95 low- and middle-income countries, mainly in Africa and Asia, although the agreement excludes some countries hit hard by the pandemic. Previously, Merck had announced something similar (NYT, Nov 16 21)
  • European regulators, with serious doubts about Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug (FT, Nov 17 21)
  • DKV remains in the MUFACE system (company declarations)
  • The EMA launches the emergency authorization process for the NOVAVAX vaccine, which would be the first vaccine with recombinant proteins developed in the European Union (Expansión, 18 Nov 21)
  • Quirónsalud launches two new phase I clinical trial units in Madrid and Barcelona, ​​following an agreement with Next Oncology (Diario Médico, 19 Nov 21)
  • Prim improves its profit by 90% in the first nine months of the year, to 12 million (PlantaDoce, Nov 15, 21)
  • Moderna appoints new general manager for Spain and Portugal, Juan Carlos Gil (PlantaDoce, Nov 16 21)
  • Miranza expands its presence in the Basque Country and opens a new center in Bilbao (PlantaDoce, 15 Nov 21)
  • The German biotechnology company CureVac will begin second-generation vaccine trials (ConSalud, 19 Nov 21)
  • Rovi expects to reach growth forecasts for 2023 this year (CincoDías, Nov 16, 21)
  • Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna expect to bill 62,000 million euros in 2021 with their vaccines (CincoDías, 15 Nov 21)
  • The Spanish HIPRA vaccine will prove its effectiveness as a booster injection for Pfizer vaccinated (Expansión, 16 Nov 21)
  • USA will pay 4,650 million euros to Pfizer for 10 million anti-covid treatments (CincoDías, Nov 18, 21)
  • Almirall collapses on the stock market, after losing 40 million euros (Expansión, 15 Nov 21)