7 days in healthcare (March 25th-31st, 2024)



From the point of view of Biomedicine, it should be noted that possibly the next “boom” will be everything related to anti-aging therapies, an aspect to which the Financial Times dedicates an article, following the appearance of three books on the subject. . The Economist dedicates a lot of space in its latest issue to the issue of AI in healthcare, no less than an editorial and four articles. The conclusion is that AI will have a great impact on healthcare. However, as Eric Topol, the well-known cardiologist and health publicist, comments in another article in the Financial Times, “AI is very transformational, but these things always take longer than you initially think.” Nature magazine analyzes the reasons for optimism about cancer vaccines. Vaccines to treat, not to prevent.

Regarding Global Health, the WHO focuses on the millions of undiagnosed cases of tuberculosis, which compromise efforts to combat this disease. The WHO estimates that in 2023 there will be three million new cases not known to health services. Problems continue between developed and developing countries, which do not agree on the Treaty on the prevention of pandemics, proposed by the WHO as a goal for 2024.

In terms of International Health Policy, the King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust, two prestigious British think tanks on health, analyze satisfaction with the NHS, which is the lowest in the entire history of this institution. Only 24% of citizens in England, Scotland and Wales are happy with the service, with waiting lists being the most common complaint. In France, the Sorbonne Faculty of Medicine and a former health minister propose “strong measures” to, they say, prevent the degradation of the health system in France. Of the three measures they propose, one of them has to do with the preservation of “medical time” (through non-medical assistants in consultation); and the other with the promotion of advanced practice nursing.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), based on Primary Care analysis that is on the Ministry’s website, it is observed that people treated in primary health centers who earn less than 18,000 euros per year are medicalized more frequently, have prescribed more chronic drugs and consume more pills for pain, anxiety or depression. The Ministry of Health is studying allowing price competition between medicines so that generics can gain market share. This would affect generics and biosimilars, which would be cheaper than brand-name ones and it would be the patient who, if they wanted, would assume the difference. The situation in Spain of the same price for generics as for branded ones is unique in Europe. The objective is to stimulate the development of the generic and biosimilar industry and, ultimately, reduce the pharmaceutical bill for these medicines, in order to allow the incorporation of innovations. If it is carried out, it will be great news. Of note is the agreement signed between the Colleges of Pharmacists of the Basque Country and the Department of Health of that community, with the idea of facilitating the integration of community pharmacies as health agents in the health system. More than interesting is the article published in Human Resources for Health, and whose first signatory is Sara Calderón-Larrañaga, and which analyzes the reasons why primary doctors leave Spain. The work consisted of a survey, focus groups and interviews with 158 primary doctors who had left Spain. The causes of their departure were, in order of importance: insufficient salary, temporary employment, excessive workload, poor governance of primary care, lack of flexibility in the workplace and personal circumstances. There are the keys to a reform of Primary Care.

As for Companies, internationally, a cancer drug (Keytruda, from Merck-MSD), the best-selling drug in the world. In Spain, the historic achievements of Rovi, with a business approach that goes beyond covid. We must also highlight Vithas’ hospital commitment in Barcelona, where construction is underway.


Global Health

International health policy

National health policy


7 days in healthcare (January 29th-February 4th, 2024)



From the point of view of Biomedicine, the use of gene therapy based on CRISPR for the treatment of hereditary angioedema should be highlighted. Great debate regarding Elon Musk’s brain chip, in general the scientific community has expressed serious reservations about this initiative. Beginning of the first trials with mRNA-based therapy in cancers of different types in the United Kingdom.

As far as Global Health is concerned, the beginning of routine malaria vaccination can without exaggeration be considered a historic event, given the high mortality of this disease in children in Africa. The WHO warns about the prospects for great growth in cancer globally and the notable differences in its prognosis, especially in breast and cervical cancer.

In terms of International Health Policy, the NHS England initiative is especially interesting, allowing pharmacies to prescribe certain medications and carry out some care practices, which is expected to result in a decrease of 10 million primary care consultations. The results of this experience deserve to be followed, since it could be part of the solution to Primary Care also in Spain. EU document on cancer in Europe, highlighting inequities in its approach.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), it is worth continuing to comment on the intervention of the Minister of Health in the Health Commission of Congress. Although now it seems that nothing is important, the truth is that this intervention is one of the most relevant of any minister who reaches her position. The intervention has some lights and many shadows. Lights: recovery of a certain will for strategic direction of the SNS and decision to address the great problem of waiting lists (this is notable, since it contrasts with other ministers, who used to rather assume that everything was transferred and , therefore, the role of the Ministry was minimal). Shadows: very negative, offensive and unacceptable mentions of private healthcare, with arguments and quotes that are intellectually inconsistent and lacking rigor; staunch defense of direct public management, compared to other forms of public management; Public Health Agency, apart from doubts about its real content (no one hides the fact that the Agency does not make the influential nationalist parties very happy), the Ministry of Health gets out of the way to decide the location, handing over the baton to the Ministry of Territorial Policy and Democratic Memory, as if it were not also a health decision; Framework Statute, where are the negotiations with professionals?; medicines, no mention of the Strategic Plan of the pharmaceutical industry (in which the President of the Government himself had committed himself); Oral health, where is the economic memory? What care model will be followed? Is the inclusion of glasses in public provision, given the financial strains of the system, a reasonable priority? Is there prior consensus with other agents on this measure? In another order of things, in the Valencian Community the reversion to the public sector of the Denia concession has been completed and that of Manises will soon be granted, something to which the Administration has every right, once the concession contract has ended. The mentions of the concept of “expropriation”, used by some concessionaire company, are extemporaneous. Now, the official press release from the Ministry announces a very notable increase in staff in that hospital in Denia. Logically, uncontrolled growth in health spending, if it is not justified, cannot be the public alternative to concessions. Notable growth in the price of health insurance premiums in Spain, although its price must probably continue to be low, compared to other European countries. Something to analyze.

As for Companies, on an international level, Novo Nordisk was surprised by the great demand in Europe for medicines against obesity. In terms of national news, the pharmaceutical distributor HEFAME has experienced great growth in recent years and is considering expanding throughout Spain. At Grifols, the board is considering excluding the family from the company’s strategic decisions.


Global Health

International health policy

  • European Union
    • Document on inequalities in the EU regarding cancer: “Beating cancer inequalities in the EU” Emphasis on prevention and early detection ( -14fdc89a-en.htm)
    • The EU fined the pharmaceutical industry 780 million for anti-competitive practices between 2018 and 2022 ( /828667294_0.html#:~:text=The%20European%20Commission%20investigated%20one, euros%20for%20the%20laboratories%20involved.)
    • Brussels calls to promote vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B throughout the EU ( -vaccines-against-human-papillomavirus-hpv-and-hepatitis-b-across-the-eu.html#:~:text=Brussels%20has%20launched%20this%20Wednesday, the%20Hepatitis%20B%20(HBV).)

National health policy

  • Appearance of the Minister of Health before the health commission of the Congress of Deputies, on January 26, 2024
    • Lights and shadows in the appearance. Lights: recovery of a certain will for strategic direction of the SNS and willingness to address the great problem of waiting lists. Shadows: very negative and unacceptable mentions of private healthcare, with intellectually inconsistent arguments and quotes; staunch defense of direct public management, compared to other forms of public management; Public Health Agency, the ministry gets out of the way to decide the location, as if it were not also a health decision; Framework Statute, where are the negotiations with professionals and patient associations?; medications, no mention of the Strategic Plan of the pharmaceutical industry; Oral health, where is the economic memory?; Is the inclusion of glasses in public provision, given the financial strains of the system, a reasonable priority? Is there prior consensus with other agents on this measure? (



7 days in healthcare (May 16th-22nd, 2022)



From the point of view of biomedicine, there seems to be new evidence of the relationship between acute childhood hepatitis and COVID. Interesting articles on how COVID can affect the brain, generating a kind of “dementia epidemic” and what long covid is and how to treat it.

Regarding Global Health, possible alarming effects of a global food crisis resulting from the war in Ukraine and its consequences. Report on serious deficiencies of “assisted technologies” (basically, wheelchairs, glasses and hearing aids) in a large part of the world’s population. The shortage of covid vaccine production in African countries continues to be denounced.

As for international health policy, an article in The Economist takes the drama out of “monkey pox”, saying that it is nothing comparable to what covid represented. Catastrophe due to covid in North Korea, a country that did not take advantage of its total closure during the pandemic to favor the immunization of its population and the reinforcement of its health system. Also, very reluctant to accept foreign aid. Isolated dictatorship things. Interesting experiment in New Zealand on a generation without tobacco.

If we talk about national health policy (Spain), the Ministry of Health has issued a protocol on monkeypox, about which there are some interesting statements by López Acuña, who also takes the drama out of this epidemic. Approved in the Council of Ministers the new abortion law, destined, probably, not to solve anything and to generate artificial problems. The SEMFYC (association of primary care doctors) warns about the need for 10,000 primary care doctors, to cover the generational change.

In the field of companies, the initiative of the Government of Catalonia to create a commission to study the new location of the Hospital Clínic should be highlighted. Surely an avant-garde and innovative hospital does not fit well in the current old building. A true revolution in the hospital and urban world of Barcelona. The AESEG warns about the low price of certain basic medicines, which discourages their production.


Global health

International health policy

  • Monkeypox

o Monkeypox spreads to several countries: after originating from a traveler from Nigeria, the disease has spread to the United States, Australia, Canada and 8 European countries. According to The Economist, there is nothing to worry about and it has nothing to do with the covid pandemic, which took the world unprepared, without vaccines or treatments ( /05/20/monkeypox-is-popping-up-in-more-countries-how-worrying-is-this)

o What is Monkeypox, article in the New York Times (

o We will see more cases of monkeypox, warns a British scientist ( scientists)

  • COVID-19

o Taiwan gradually renounces the “zero-covid” policy, assuming that the number of cases will increase ( -a-peu-a-politique-zero-covid_6126267_3244.html)

o Catastrophe in North Korea. The country was closed during the pandemic, but it was not used to immunize the population or strengthen the health system ( -wildfire-in-north-korea)

o Shanghai is going to open its commerce in stages ( deux-mois-de-confinement_6126204_3244.html)

o How Australia saved thousands of lives from covid, in contrast to what happened in the United States (

  • Other themes

o The policy on the possible annulment of the Roe v Wade judgment in the United States continues, important editorial in Science (

o A generation without tobacco in New Zealand, prohibited for all those born since January 1, 2009. Malaysia and Denmark are also considering similar measures ( 6736(22)00925-4/fulltext)

o The United States, Switzerland and Norway lead the world in spending on health per capita ( in-medical-care.html)

o The NHS needs access to medical data to save lives, interesting article in the Financial Times (

o A report commissioned by the Minister for Health proposes that the legal smoking age in the UK be 21 ( -in-england-could-be-raised-to-21-report)

National health policy

  • Monkeypox

o Protocol of the Ministry of Health against monkeypox (

o Interesting statements by López Acuña: there is no reason for social alarm over monkeypox (

o Spain will buy thousands of vaccines for the monkeypox disease ( -the-traditional-smallpox-to-deal-with-the-monkey-virus-outbreak.html)


o The cumulative incidence, on the rise: 848 points ( -points_114982_102.html)

  • Regulatory announcements

o The new abortion law approved by the Council of Ministers ( your-address.html)

  • Other themes

o Spain, leader in the consumption of benzodiazepines for anxiety and insomnia (

o The National Health System (SNS) would need 10,000 family doctors for generational turnover, according to a study by the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (SEMFYC) ( -of-family-more-to-guarantee-the-generational-handover.html)

o The strike of specialist doctors in Madrid, suspended after an agreement ( contest.html)

o Spain, last in mental health, there are only 2,800 psychologists in public health, only 344 in Primary Care ( -psychologists-public-health/672183163_0.html)

o Private healthcare works on a code of good practice: joint initiative of ATA (Association of Self-Employed) and ASPE ( your-own-code-of-good-practices-4162)


  • International News

o Big Pharma pressures the G20 to prepare for the next pandemic (

o Monkeypox shoots up the stock of the only company that manufactures them: Bavarian Nordic (

  • National News

o Dependency insurance grows 71.4% and closes the first quarter with 132,000 users ( the-first-quarter-with-132000-users.html)

o Catalonia constitutes the commission that will decide the location of the new Clinic Hospital (ón-la-comision-que-decidira-el-emplazamiento-del-nuevo-hospital-clinic. html)

o Colgate-Palmolive breaks into the bid for Lácer (

o AESEG asks to raise the price of essential medicines to produce them ( -essential-to-produce-them.html)