Posts

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

 

Summary

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

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

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

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

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

Biomedicine

Global Health

International health policy

National health policy

Companies

7 days in healthcare (August 28th-September 3rd, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, it is worth highlighting how therapy with psychedelics is opening up among mental health professionals, especially for cases of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, eating disorders and addictions.

As far as Global Health is concerned, a study of 18 clinical trials shows that screening for early detection of cancer does not make this population live longer than those who do not undergo this type of testing. WHO concern about blindness and vision disorders. More than 2.2 billion people globally have vision disorders, generally attributable to refractory disorders and cataracts.

In terms of International Health Policy, the expected bomb exploded from the application of the “Inflation Reduction Law”, approved in the USA in August 2022, which included something prohibited until now: price negotiation between pharmaceutical companies and Medicare. . The American government made public the 10 drugs that will be negotiated in 2023 and affects the main companies: Pfizer, Lilly, Novartis, AstraZeneca, J&J, etc. Although the established system is very gradual, since 10 drugs will be negotiated each year for the next four, the truth is that this breaks the status quo of the pharmaceutical industry not only in the USA (the largest drug market) but in the world. It is difficult to counter Biden’s argument, which he plans to use in the 2024 campaign, that Americans do not have to pay two to three times more for medicines than the rest of the developed countries, such as in Europe. However, The Economist, which recognizes the need for this price negotiation, nevertheless sees problems in its application due to the appeals filed by large pharmaceutical companies and the risk that these companies will distance themselves from the necessary medicines and concentrate on others unrelated to price control. He also says that if R&D expenses are taken into account, the profitability of pharmaceutical companies is not extraordinary, when compared to the companies in the S&P 500.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the incidence of covid shoots up by 70% in just one week. The Ministry of Health recommends the fifth dose to selected groups: over 60 years of age, health personnel and the vulnerable. The Supreme Court faces a complex issue: the ruling on thousands of compensation payments to businessmen due to the pandemic. These are property claims to the State due to Covid-19 from businessmen and self-employed workers, who are awaiting compensation for the damage caused by the restrictions during the states of alarm that were later cancelled.

In the field of Companies, on an international level, the most notable is the abandonment of CENTENE from the United Kingdom, where it had a chain of primary care centers and the CIRCLE hospital network. The movement follows his departure from Spain with the sale of Ribera. A concentration in the American market, difficulties with the anti-privatisation movements of healthcare in Europe and problems with hospital integration may be at the origin of the problems, to which perhaps we should also add an underdeveloped growth strategy for this American company in Europe. In any case, a shame, since CENTENE is a great American insurance company, with a lot to teach in the European world. As far as national news is concerned, Spain is the only country that has purchased (31 million euros) several million vaccines from HIPRA, which is not updated for the new strains. Big problem for the Ministry if it decides to use it.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International health policy

  • USA
    • The American government reveals the 10 drugs on which price negotiations will take place with Medicare. Under the proposed reform the minimum price decrease will be 25%. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the savings to the public coffers will be $100 billion over a decade. The affected companies are BMS, Pfizer, Boeheringer, Lilly, J&J, Merck, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Amgen, AbbVie, Novonordisk (https://www.ft.com/content/fa9b0422-6f93-4703-9358-6396660f63b6)
    • The Economist, critical of the American government’s measure, although it recognizes that price negotiation was obligatory. He says that the prohibition on negotiation was nonsense, but the proposed negotiation system could have perverse effects. If R&D expenses are taken into account, pharmaceutical companies do not have extraordinary profits, compared to those of the S&P 500 (https://www.ecocom/leaders/2023/08/30/americas-new-drug-pricing-rules-have-perverse-consequences)
    • Biden makes the negotiation of drug prices one of the central axes of his campaign for 2024, despite the fact that the price reduction will not begin until 2026 and that is if the law resists all judicial attacks (https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/30/us/politics/biden-medicare-drug-prices-2024-campaign.html)
    • Opinion article in FT: “The world needs to stop depending on the American pharmaceutical industry.” Americans pay up to three times more than other developed countries for medications. The American market is the main market for pharmaceutical companies. This policy is popular among Americans, but it may affect drug R&D globally. Pharmaceutical companies can orient themselves from the most needed medicines to those that escape price control (https://www.ft.com/content/0c20c518-60a8-4dd0-87be-f03adc8ec0e1)

National health policy

  • Judicial consequences of the pandemic
    • The Supreme Court faces the sentencing of thousands of compensations to businessmen due to the pandemic. These are property claims to the State due to Covid-19 from businessmen and self-employed workers, who are awaiting compensation for the damage caused by the restrictions during the states of alarm that were later cancelled. About 9,000 resources are expected. The sentence is very complex, due, among other things, to the high economic amount that it could represent (https://www.expansion.com/juridico/sentencias/2023/09/01/64f1cc47e5fdea09658b45ba.html)

Companies

 

 

 

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

 

Summary

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

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

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

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

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

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

National Health Policy

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

Companies

 

 

 

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

 

Summary

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

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

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

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

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

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

National health policy

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

Companies

7 days in healthcare (May 22nd-28th, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, to point out the cerebral signs in the orbito-frontal cortex detected in chronic pain, which opens the possibility of implanting devices to alleviate pain. An AI-based digital bridge enables paraplegics to walk, raising hope that neurotechnology can help overcome numerous disabilities. The contribution of AI in the interpretation of radiological images is the subject of an extensive review in the New England Journal Medicine. Science magazine publishes advances in regenerative medicine, which helps to recover tissues damaged in many diseases.

With regard to Global Health, The Economist shows with its model that global deaths are 5% above the pre-pandemic era, speculating about whether the stress on health systems due to the covid could have left many people without treatment, which would have increased mortality. Child labor, so present even in developed countries, is the subject of an analysis by The Lancet. The WHO, for its part, warns that the next pandemic may be even deadlier than covid.

As for International Health Policy, the most striking thing is both the editorial and the article that The Economist dedicates to the National Health Service. He goes on to say that although the NHS may need more money, money alone would not solve its problems, calling for “a radical change of focus”, but not like those that some are calling for to move closer to social insurance-type models such as in Germany and France, which he considers unnecessary. He believes that the change consists of orienting the system more towards health, as its name indicates, and less towards disease. Less focus on hospitals and more on community health; from treatment to prevention; and valuing the results more than the activity inputs.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), to highlight the change of political sign, with the departure of the PSOE and the arrival of the PP, in the governments of the Valencian Community, Cantabria, the Balearic Islands, Extremadura and Aragon. This is going to have health consequences. Although it is early to tell, it will surely give continuity to the concession model in the Valencian Community. The latest weekly report from the WHO on covid shows that Spain is currently the country in Europe with the highest mortality per 100,000 inhabitants from this disease. The Community of Madrid has a serious problem attracting professionals, leaving many positions for primary care doctors and paediatricians vacant. Debate on training in the SNS, for important professional associations, such as FACME, the SNS by itself will not be able to maintain teaching professionals without collaboration with the industry. The Government of Navarra is investigating several doctors for breach of exclusivity, apparently only in force in Navarra, Galicia and Asturias. It is surprising that the form of application of a national law depends on the political sign of the autonomous governments.

At the Business level, internationally, Pfizer reaches an agreement with the EU to reduce the supply of covid vaccines. At the national level, it should be noted that HIPRA, after two months of approval of its vaccine, only sells it in Spain.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

National health policy

  • AIDS
    • According to the report of the Carlos III Health Institute, 92.5% of people living with HIV in Spain would know their infection diagnosis; 96.6 are receiving antiretroviral treatment and 90.4 have suppressed viral load. The decrease in the undiagnosed fraction is the data that presents the greatest evolution in this report (https://www.isciii.es/Paginas/Inicio.aspx)

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 (March 7th-12th, 2023)

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, the geneticist Francisco J Ayala, one of the great Spaniards of science, with important contributions in the field of the human genome and other diseases, dies. Some obscure episodes, not fully clarified, pointed to him as a target of the “me too” initiatives. It is increasingly clear that gene therapies will soon explode and will be useful in multiple hematological, cardiac, ocular, muscular and even neurodegenerative processes. An ethical reflection is essential, which ensures, on the one hand, that these treatments are accessible, and, on the other, the limits of these treatments. It seems that we are closer to having specific treatments against fatty liver, a serious disease responsible for tens of thousands of deaths.

As regards Global Health, young people, including adolescents, with gender dysphoria are growing all over the world. There is no accepted professional consensus on how to approach these situations. It seems increasingly clear that inequality in the face of covid vaccines responsible for thousands of deaths from this disease. Although there is no absolute consensus, it seems increasingly clear that smartphones and social networks are responsible for serious mental health problems among young people. 24/7 access to these technologies minimizes face-to-face contact between young people.

Regarding International Health Policy, the WHO maintains the covid as a “health emergency of international concern”. In the United States, the budget presented by Biden – which will not be approved – proposes a significant increase in funds for Medicare. Problems continue for the Walgreens pharmacy chain for not selling abortion pills in 21 states. The USA plans to eliminate hepatitis C, almost a decade after highly effective therapies for this disease appeared. Concern in the United Kingdom about the interruption of the improvement in life expectancy for a decade, before the covid, contrary to what is happening in France or Denmark, for example. Australia is preparing to tackle a health reform, after the preparation of an independent report, a model that could well be inspiring for Spain. Newsweek magazine publishes its well-known ranking of the best hospitals in the world. The Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, and the Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, considered the best hospitals in the world. Among the first hundred there are 6 Spaniards, all of them public, except one private: the Clínica Universidad de Navarra (CUN).

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), in terms of covid, the accumulated incidence continues to rise slightly, with a fairly high mortality (139 patients in one week). In Castilla y León, the health areas will have access to a team on rare diseases. Serious concerns among psychiatrists about the large increase in cases of gender dysphoria. The actors in the cyber attack on the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona request a ransom of 4.5 million dollars, which the Administration refuses to deliver. Some Catalan doctors are organized to attend only in Catalan, something against repeated court rulings and the Generalitat’s own protocols.

At the Corporate level, at the international level, investors are rubbing their hands at the prospects of big business in anti-obesity drugs. Morgan Stanley has quantified what this can mean in billions of dollars worldwide. Pfizer places its vaccine against covid as the drug with the highest income in the world. At the national level, Quirón reaches an agreement with the City Council for the construction of its hospital in Gijón and Hospitén announces the construction of a new hospital in Madrid with a large investment of 160 million euros. Thus, the boom in new private hospitals continues, for which there is a real race in which several actors participate (Quirón, Viamed, Vithas, Hospitén, Imed, and others). Hipra will return aid to the covid vaccine in ten years.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

  • Best hospitals in the world
    • Newsweek magazine publishes its traditional ranking of the best hospitals in the world. The first three are: the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, and the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Among the first 100 are 6 Spanish hospitals: La Paz, (53); Barcelona Clinic (62); October 12 (72); Vall d’Hebrón (83), Gregorio Marañón (90) and the CUN (97) (https://www.newsweek.com/rankings/worlds-best-hospitals-2023)

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 7th-13th, 2022)

 

Summary

From the point of view of biomedicine, to highlight the blood transfusion with cells generated in the laboratory from donor stem cells, carried out in the United Kingdom, which opens up possibilities for what has been pursued for years: the so-called “artificial blood”. Likewise, two advances that originate in Spain: the discovery of a genetic variant that favors thinness (CNIO) and the fact that malignant cells break off from cancer and cause deaths by metastasis (Institute of Medical Research of Barcelona).

As regards Global Health, Nature insists in an editorial, following the COP27 meeting, that rich countries must advance compensation for polluting. Important challenges for the new Brazilian President in health matters, particularly in primary care.

Regarding International Health Policy, debate on the covid-zero policy in China, on the one hand, there seem to be signs that China is easing quarantines, on the other hand, according to José Luis Puerta in an article, this policy is a death trap , since its abandonment may mean assuming a high number of deaths, given the low percentage of vaccination in China. In the United Kingdom (NHS) a nurses’ strike for salary demands is raised for the first time, which. according to the Government, they are unaffordable.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), it seems that the crisis of Primary Care, long incubated, has exploded. Although the problems of low wages, poor working conditions for doctors and flight or refusal to go to Primary Care is a national problem, the crisis has broken out above all, although not only, in Madrid, which has some peculiarities that aggravate the situation: 1. the closure of out-of-hospital emergencies for two years; 2. the low funding of the health system in Madrid and of Primary Care; and, 3. some confrontation practice. The truth is that the “white tide” has been activated, with a large demonstration in defense of public healthcare in the center of Madrid, which was a great success for the organizers. As always in these cases, the defense of public healthcare is mixed with the rejection of any form of public/private collaboration. Tensions in primary care also in the rest of Spain. Highly recommendable is the video on YouTube entitled “Doctors are lacking in Spain”?

In the field of companies, at the international level Bavarian Nordic increases its growth due to the monkeypox vaccine, while BioNTech’s revenues fall, due to the drop in sales of the covid vaccine. In Spain, changes in the CEO of Quirón, to whom Víctor Madera, the company’s founder, returns to executive positions. Success for Ribera, which is awarded an important contract for a hospital concession in Cascais (Portugal). New delays in the approval by the EMA of the HIPRA vaccine.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International health policy

  • COVID-19
    • China eases quarantine rules, with Guangzhou close to lockdown. There is speculation that Beijing is considering a relaxation of the covid-zero policy (https://www.ft.com/content/709e95e6-cc63-4fe0-9c4a-5683c87f7e7b)
    • Interesting article by José Luis Puerta: “China: the deadly trap of the covid-zero policy”. If the government lifts the restrictions, which are sinking the economy, the country risks suffering a tsunami of infections, due to the low level of vaccination. It is estimated that this could cause 1.6 million deaths and a demand for intensive care that exceeds its current capacity by 15.6 times (https://theobjective.com/internacional/2022-11-12/china-covid-zero/ )

National health policy

Companies

 

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

 

Summary

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.

Biomedicine

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 (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(22)01980-8/fulltext)
  • 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 (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2797507)

National health policy

Companies