7 days in healthcare (February 12th-18th, 2024)


From the point of view of Biomedicine, as is known, most rare diseases have no treatment, although this situation will surely be overcome in the not too distant future. A new drug (prozelimab) against the rare Chaple disease. A trial offers hope that a jab could prevent rheumatoid arthritis, the disease that affects 18 million people globally. Chances of a blood protein test warning about the onset of Alzheimer’s disease up to fifteen years in advance. A new powerful antibiotic (cresomycin), hope for antimicrobial resistance, which globally causes about five million deaths a year.

Regarding Global Health, despite the fact that 2021 marked the 100th anniversary of the appearance of insulin, many diabetes patients still do not have access to it. Important article in the New England Journal Medicine about e-cigarettes. There is sufficient evidence to show that switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes reduces exposure to tobacco toxins, decreases respiratory symptoms, and reverses physiological changes related to cigarette smoking. There is not enough evidence that e-cigarettes are a good method to quit smoking.

In terms of International Health Policy, an unexpected consequence of the ruling of the United States Supreme Court, granting states the possibility of legislating on abortion, what was widely used to prohibit or restrict it: the taking of prescribed abortion pills by telemedicine and received by mail is a safe and effective method, according to a study. The European Commission approves the first gene editing treatment, in this case for beta thalassemia and sickle cell anemia. HERA (Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority) launches the Critical Medicines Alliance. It is said that this Alliance will contribute to changing the way medicines are produced and purchased in Europe.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), there is great commotion in the sector as a result of the statements by Vice President Yolanda Díaz that she is negotiating to introduce in the budgets the modification of the health VAT from 0% to 21%. Regardless of the viability of this proposal, could it be considered whether this is the best way to make policy? Any study on the impact on the sector? Any previous negotiations with the health ecosystem? Although the Ministry of Health usually intervenes little in economic matters – remember that all the cuts during the financial crisis were not even discussed in the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System – this is a major issue that well deserves a position. and an analysis by the Ministry of Health. Asturias regulates financial compensation to professionals (442 euros for four hours of surgical activity and half for consultations for doctors) for extension of working hours to address the serious problem of waiting lists. Family doctors report a deficit of 2,600 professionals in the next year. As a consequence of the European Plan against Cancer, the launch of the first nine Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Spain is announced. The project is led in Spain by the Vall d’Hebron Hospital and the National Institute of Oncology.

As for Companies, on an international level, the British consulting firm Clarivate analyzes the 13 disruptive drugs for 2024. Oncology drugs predominate, although there is also the vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus and a new drug against COPD. At the national level, the growth of the egg freezing business in Spain is confirmed. It seems that the HIPRA vaccine is going to end up in the trash. There is nothing special, since failures are inherent to business, especially in an area as difficult as biotechnology. However, some excessively triumphalist government demonstrations could have been avoided.


Global Health

International health policy

  • United Kingdom and the National Health Service

National health policy


7 days in healthcare (January 8th-14th, 2024)



From the point of view of Biomedicine, it is worth highlighting the first results of the genomic studies of tumors carried out by the British public company, created in Cameron’s time, Genomics England, which will allow new therapeutic orientations in tumors. Certain hopes for patients with schizophrenia, a disease with a limited therapeutic arsenal. A Phase III trial gives promising results. It is expected that the drug can be approved in 2024 by the FDA. The WHO organizes a World Forum on Clinical Trials, establishing the four pillars for their development, which is of special interest to Spain, which is a power in clinical trials, a leader in Europe and only surpassed globally by the United States, China, India and Iran.

As far as Global Health is concerned, the WHO warns that a new pandemic will arrive and it will be more deadly.

In terms of International Health Policy, the growth of total health expenditures in the USA returns to pre-pandemic levels. They rose 4.1% in 2022, while in 2020 they had risen 10.6%. The New England Journal of Medicine publishes an interesting article on the “financialization” (non-financing) of health in the United States, distinguishing this from “corporatization” (the role of large corporations) or “privatization” (greater role of the private sector). “Financialization” refers to the greater role of financial or private equity companies in the healthcare world, in many cases as direct owners of healthcare companies, especially pharmaceutical and insurance companies. The effects of this phenomenon are not yet well analyzed. The FDA approves 55 drugs in 2023, up 48% from the previous year. Of those 55, 28 were intended for rare diseases. The Economist analyzes in an article that the British health system is acquiring a shape similar to that of the 1930s, with a large role of private companies and charities, when Aneurin Bevan created the NHS. It should be noted that the so-called generation Z (between 18 and 24 years old) are the largest users of private healthcare. The EU, through HERA, the body created as a result of Covid, will launch a vaccine development center.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the Ministry of Health agreed, in the face of the growth of the tripledemic, two measures: the first, the so-called “auto-sick leaves” (sick leaves of up to three days without prior medical report, by the exclusive decision of the worker); and, the second, the mandatory nature of masks in health centers. Both very controversial measures. The first was due to disagreements with the unions, employers and within the government itself, which speaks of improvisation on a very sensitive issue and which forced it to be postponed indefinitely. The second, with opposition from several communities and legal problems in its design. Measures continue to be taken to address problems such as pandemics without the expert advice of an organization such as the Public Health Agency, which has not yet been created, which could possibly have avoided or mitigated some of the problems that the Ministry has encountered. The Catalan government, faced with a growth in pharmaceutical spending, intends to control it with several measures. One of the requests is the transfer of the powers of the Interministerial Price Commission, in order to be able to negotiate the price of medicines with the laboratories at the community level. An issue that could threaten the necessary cohesion of the National Health System. Budgeted public health spending amounts to 89 billion in 2023, 29% more than in 2019, before the pandemic. The unions propose to the Ministry changes in the human resources policy and in the Framework Statute. Given the well-known aversion of unions to differentiation and individual and collective recognition, basic needs of the system, surely the approaches will not be very innovative.

In the field of Companies, on an international level, Goldman Sachs is making its debut in health, with a fund of 650 million dollars, in a line that seems to reinforce the idea of the “financialization” of health, discussed in the article this week from the New England Journal of Medicine. When it comes to national news, the highlight is the upheaval at Grifols, which has lost 3.2 billion euros in five days. After the Gotham Research City report, the company has not been able to convince shareholders of its reliability.


Global Health

International health policy

National health policy





7 days in healthcare (December 11th-17th, 2023)



From the point of view of Biomedicine, CRISPR therapy, which begins with sickle cell anemia, is great hope. In the end, the FDA approves two gene therapies for this disease, which affects 7.7 million people globally and is a chronic, debilitating disease that causes pain and reduces the quality and expectancy of life. New approved therapies include extraction, genetic modification and reinfusion into patients of their own hematopoietic stem cells. The problem is that these patients live mainly in sub-Saharan Africa and India, which are far from having the infrastructure to apply this therapy. The price of these therapies is about 2 million euros per patient, which again raises the problem of the problems of universalization of precision medicine. Ozempic, Alzheimer’s drugs and malaria vaccines among the scientific milestones of 2023 for Science magazine. For its part, Nature magazine chooses a non-human among its scientists of the year: ChatGPT.

As far as Global Health is concerned, in the end, an international agreement is reached on the end of fossil fuels. COP28 was the first global conference on the subject after the Paris agreement in 2015 (COP21) in which a global limit to temperature growth was established at 1.5º. On December 13, 2023, the agreement on net zero emissions by 2050 will be reached. Fossil fuels generate a lot of wealth, but they are also the bulk of CO2 emissions. The problem is that there is no system that forces governments to meet that objective. A global treaty on plastics is proposed by the United Nations General Assembly (March, 2022). Plastic pollution is a global threat, since plastic is persistent and less than 10% is recycled, almost 6 billion tons now pollute the planet. This contains more than 10,500 chemicals, which includes carcinogens, neurotoxicants, etc.

Regarding International Health Policy, design by the European Union of a Plan to avoid shortages of more than 260 critical medicines, which includes storage and incentives for production

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), one in ten Spaniards on the waiting list, record numbers in health. At this moment there are 820,000 people to undergo surgery, a figure never reached. The Ministry of Health wants to raise this problem with the communities at the in-person meeting of the Interterritorial Council in Asturias on December 21. In theory there are two solutions: either self-concertation (the disdainfully called “peonadas”) or agreements with the private sector. In both cases money is needed. It is also necessary to review the indications, circuits and priorities. The CIS Barometer is released (3rd wave, October 2023). 57.5% value positively the functioning of the National Health System, which means a great setback with respect to previous editions. In an article in El País whose first signatory is Félix Lobo, it is proposed to strengthen the Ministry of Health. In 45 years there have been 28 ministers. And organizations with a clear health component have been separated from the Ministry, such as the Carlos III Health Institute, the Government Delegation for the National Drug Plan and the Food Safety and Nutrition Agency (AESAN). Although this reinforcement is necessary, it must surely be complemented with what we could call “cohesion bodies”, among which could be HISPANICE, also proposed by FUNCAS.

In the field of Companies, on an international level, Cigna renounces creating a health insurance giant in the USA, by becoming part of Humana. AstraZeneca enters the world of vaccines. Regarding national news, Quirón advances in the construction of its hospital in Gijón (Asturias) and receives from the Ministry of Defense the management of the hospital on Isaac Peral Street (former Generalísimo Franco), closed for more than 30 years. Good results from Miranza and Ribera, the latter contemplating three new projects.


Global Health

International health policy

National health policy

  • Waiting lists
    • One in ten Spaniards on the waiting list, record figures in healthcare. At this moment there are 820,000 people to undergo surgery, a figure never reached. The Ministry of Health wants to raise this problem with the communities at the in-person meeting of the Interterritorial Council in Asturias on December 21. In theory there are two solutions: either self-concertion (the so-called “peonadas”) or conciliation with the private sector. In both cases money is needed. It is also necessary to review the indications, circuits and priorities (
  • It is proposed to strengthen the Ministry of Health
    • In an article in El País whose first signatory is Félix Lobo, it is proposed to strengthen the Ministry of Health. In 45 years there have been 28 ministers. And organizations with a clear health component have been separated from the Ministry, such as the Carlos III Health Institute, the Government Delegation for the National Drug Plan and the Food Safety and Nutrition Agency (AESAN) (



7 days in healthcare (October 31st-November 6th, 2022)



From the point of view of Biomedicine, the start of human trials of drugs discovered by Artificial Intelligence should be highlighted, something that is attracting the attention of all Big Pharma companies.

With regard to Global Health, it should be noted that COP27, the major international conference on climate change, will be held in Cairo on November 7 and 8. His opening coincides with the editorial in The Economist in which he says that the goal of keeping the temperature from rising 1.5º is totally unrealistic, proposing various alternatives. Ukraine’s health system prepares for nuclear disaster. Cholera outbreaks in various parts of the world.

Regarding International Health Policy, the WHO publishes a document on the development of telemedicine in Europe, identifying the problems of the user, technology and infrastructure as the main obstacles to its development. Problems in the British and French health systems.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the CESM denounces the proliferation of contracts for doctors without a MIR system. Surprisingly, there is no exact figure for how many doctors practice in Spain without MIR. Serious tensions in the Madrid healthcare system, mainly in out-of-hospital emergencies, although not only. It seems that the politics of confrontation prevails, which is neither positive nor desirable. There are no good memories of the famous “white tides” in Madrid, which should not be reactivated. The debate on the delay in access to medicines continues. The Ministry of Health affirms that part of this delay is due to pharmaceutical companies, which prioritize some countries over others in their marketing requests. At the national level, mention must be made of the death of Dr. Fernando Alonso-Lej, the great introducer of the MIR system in Spain and, therefore, deserving of maximum recognition.

In the Corporate arena, internationally J&J acquires a cardiac device company. In our country, it should be noted that the private sector builds more than 80% of nursing homes.


Global Health

International health policy

National health policy


7 days in healthcare (August 8th-14th, 2022)



From the point of view of biomedicine, there seems to be a glimpse of a new drug to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS, for which there are problems in obtaining an affordable price. Animal testing is the basis for certain advances in medicine. This can be overcome with certain new discoveries, according to the company Lift Sciences.

Regarding Global Health, two key issues: a new zoonosis (“Langya”) appears in China, as published in the NEJM. In certain developed countries it seems that polio, which was considered eradicated, is making a comeback.

Regarding international health policy, the approval of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 in the United States, about Climate, Fiscal and Health will have a very important impact. Aside from expanding access to insurance through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), surely the most far-reaching impact will be on the pharmaceutical industry. Gradually, Medicare will be able to negotiate the price of medicines with the pharmaceutical industry, something that until now it could not do. This radically changes the business model of the pharmaceutical industry, which was based on two things: the protection of intellectual property through patents; and the existence of free prices with high margins in the United States (the largest pharmaceutical market) and regulated prices and lower margins in the rest of the world. A substantial change that will most likely have a global impact. It may also curb the escalation of health care spending in the United States. We’ll see if this doesn’t upset the fast pace of drug innovation.

If we talk about national health policy (Spain), the good news is that, as in all of Europe, covid continues to decrease in incidence, although it is still a worrying disease, due to the number of hospitalized cases and mortality.

In the field of companies, trials for new covid variants begin by BioNTech and Pfizer. More than 2,300 Spanish pharmacies can now sell through the Glovo platform and soon Uber, although only parapharmacy products, not prescription drugs.


Global health

International health policy

National health policy







7 days in healthcare (February 7-13, 2022)


From the point of view of biomedicine, to highlight the advances that allow paraplegics to walk, through spinal implants.

Regarding Global Health, it is worth mentioning the WHO warning that the pandemic has threatened the health systems of 90% of the countries; as well as the health problems in Burkina Faso and Afghanistan.

In relation to international health policy, the WHO statement that the pandemic is not over and that more variants are expected should be highlighted. In some countries the restrictions are lifted (United Kingdom, Norway) while in others (Germany) they continue. HERA (the new European Authority for Preparedness and Response to Health Emergencies) begins its steps and will receive a budget of 1,300 million euros in 2022.

In national health policy, we are witnessing a relaxation of the restriction measures, as a consequence of the decrease in the figures of the pandemic (less than 1,500 per 100,000 inhabitants), although these figures are still high and are accompanied by high mortality. Nor is the appearance of new variants ruled out. On the other hand, in the face of loud announcements by the Government, the incorporation of Paxlovid, Pfizer’s medication against serious cases of COVID, is delayed. Work begins for the creation of the State Public Health Surveillance Network, one of the conclusions of the work of the Commission for Social and Economic Reconstruction of the Congress of Deputies of July 3, 2020 (point 19.2), although in the conclusions of the commission there was talk of “urgently implementing” this issue. It is addressed two years after the first death from covid. Also noteworthy is the great concern and mobilizations carried out by the nursing sector. The General Council of Nursing Colleges publishes a Decalogue, whose first point is “Spain without nurses” and the last “Enough of ignoring us”. Spain leads the consumption of anxiolytics, which does not seem like a minor problem.

As far as company news is concerned, mention should be made of the FDA’s delay in approving Pfizer’s vaccine for children under 5 years of age. Also the entry of Nestlé in the field of health, positioning itself in weight control.


  • Spinal implants allow paraplegics to walk, swim and ride a bike. Breakthrough driven by Grégoire Courtine, a neuroscientist at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, and Jocelyne Bloch, a neurosurgeon at Lausanne University Hospital. The rupture of the cord prevents the transmission of electrical signals from the brain, which allows the implanted device (The Economist, 12 February 22)
  • There is a lack of evidence that current covid vaccines will produce herd immunity (American Journal of Medicine, February 6, 22)
  • A study analyzes the prevalence of loneliness in 113 countries, as a major health and social problem (BMJ, February 9, 22


  • The WHO warns that more than 90% of the countries have seen their health system threatened by the pandemic (interruptions in services, difficulties in accessing care, problems with emergency care) (La Razón, February 7, 22)
  • The WHO denounces actions by the pharmaceutical industry that make it difficult to bring covid vaccines to Africa. The declaration affects a foundation (kENUP) linked to BioNTech (BMJ, February 9, 22)
  • The armed conflict in the Sahel region (Burkina Faso) endangers the already weak health system (The Lancet, February 12, 22)
  • Afghanistan’s health system is collapsing under stress (NYT, February 6, 22)
  • Ukraine, fears that a health system that had made great progress in recent times is going into crisis due to the possible conflict (The Lancet 12 February 22)



o The WHO warns that the pandemic is not over and that more variants are expected (ABC, February 12, 22)

o Covid levels remain high in many parts of Europe, but restrictions tend to be lifted (FT, February 11, 22)

o The 1918 flu had devastating effects the third year (Washington Post, February 6, 22)

o Protests against covid restrictions in France and the Netherlands (The Guardian, February 12, 22)

o Waiting lists in England exceed 6 million for the first time (FT, 10 February 22)

o Boris Johnson plans to end the restrictions due to covid a month earlier than planned (The Guardian, February 9, 22)

o China, ready to impose greater confinements in Hong Kong (FT, February 11, 22)

o A study detects that NYC deer are infected by covid (NYT, February 7, 22)

o Seven out of ten vaccines administered in the EU are from Pfizer (El Español, February 11, 22)

o Norway lifts all restrictions against the pandemic (El País, February 13, 22)

o Germany will not lift the restrictions against covid (El Mundo, February 10, 22)

  • Other issues

o HERA (the new European Authority for Preparedness and Response to Health Emergencies) will have a total budget of 1,300 million in 2022 (diariofarma, February 10, 22)

o The EFPIA publishes a white paper on the effectiveness of public procurement of medicines in the EU (EFPIA, February 22)

o It seems that the attempts of the United States government to lower the price of medicines by allowing the negotiation of their prices in Medicare are failing (NEJM, February 9, 22)



o The low incidence of 1,500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Spain, although with 389 deaths on the last day with official information (La Vanguardia, February 11, 22)

o Delays in the incorporation of Paxlovid, Pfizer’s medication against severe COVID (El Periódico de España, February 11, 22)

  • Political announcements

o Spain begins to create the pandemic alert network, creating the State Public Health Surveillance Network (El Español, 13 February 22)

  • Other issues

o The nursing sector stars in demonstrations throughout Spain (La Razón, February 9, 22)

o Decalogue published by the General Council of Nursing Colleges (CGCE, February, 2022)

o Spain leads the consumption of anxiolytics in Europe, according to the latest report from the Narcotics Control Board (INCB), more than 2.5 million people consume psychotropic drugs daily (La Razón, February 12, 22)

o Spain doubles the number of leprosy cases in 2021 (The Objective, February 7, 22)

o The OMC (Collegiate Medical Organization), against Montero’s campaign on “obstetric violence” (El Español, February 10, 22)

o The Ombudsman intervenes in response to complaints of health cuts to MUFACE officials (La Razón, February 10, 22)

o In a meeting convened by the IMAS Foundation, specialists demand a digital health strategy (Health Act, February 9, 22)

o Cantabria wants to turn Valdecilla into a reference in precision medicine (Sanitary Act, February 10, 22)


  • Important medical bet by Amazon that is revolutionizing the health system in the USA (El Economista, February 12, 22)
  • The FDA puts a brake on the approval of Pfizer’s covid vaccine below 5 years (The Guardian, February 11, 22)
  • Novavax, the fifth vaccine, arrives in Europe the last week of February (diariofarma, February 10, 22)
  • China conditionally approves Pfizer’s treatment Paxlovid (The Guardian, 12 February 22)
  • CEOE: Adriana Bonezzi, new head of the health area (Medical Writing, February 7, 22)
  • Wivi vision. company that evaluates the capabilities of the visual system: agreement with General Óptica to implement it in its network of stores (PlantaDoce, February 8, 22)
  • Vithas joins forces with Genesis Care to launch a cancer center in Madrid (PlantaDoce, February 4, 22)
  • Pfizer more than doubles its profits in 2021, up to 22,000 million dollars (PlantaDoce, February 8, 22)
  • Nestlé Health Science buys Pronokal, positioning itself in the weight loss and control products sector (Diario Médico, February 7, 22)
  • J&J suspends the manufacture of its vaccine (Consalud, February 11, 22)
  • Dependency insurance grows 96% and closes 2021 with 128,000 insured (PlantaDoce, February 7, 22)
  • Durcal relies on Movistar to break into the elderly care segment (PlantaDoce, February 10, 22)
  • Nordic Cap and Amulet enter the bid for the IVI group, Morgan Stanley will receive the non-binding offers before February 23 (CincoDías, February 12, 22)



7 days in healthcare (January 31-February 6, 2022)



As far as biomedicine is concerned, the report on the value of death by The Lancet stands out; also the development of the nasal vaccine against COVID; the new horizon of transplants, derived from the possibilities of genetic editing of animal organs; and, the revolution that the new cancer vaccines based on mRNA technology may entail.

In terms of global health, the AstraZeneca vaccine is the most widely used worldwide, due to its contribution to COVAX. More than 2,500 million doses have been placed globally.

In international health policy, the most striking is the study by Johns Hopkins University, which minimizes the effectiveness of confinement, which contrasts with previous studies; the 900,000 deaths from COVID in the United States and the 500,000 in India; the WTO continues to request the release of vaccine patents. In Europe, it is worth highlighting the new clinical trial system approved by the European Union and its new approach to cancer.

National health policy continues to be dominated by COVID. The numbers of cases are decreasing, which speaks of the decline of the “sixth wave”. However, deaths are still very high. The announcement that oncological biomarkers will be included in the portfolio of the National Health System is very important. Cancer mapping in Spain presents very striking results, with a high concentration of cancer incidence in certain geographical areas. Subject to study and act.

In company news, the leading role of venture capital companies is notable, with the large operations underway by Sandoz (a generic and biosimilar branch of Novartis) and IVI (a Spanish fertility company). The interest of private equity companies is concentrated around these companies. Also the acquisition of MIR Asturias by CVC and the Alfonso X University. The attempt by Correos to enter pharmaceutical distribution will bring a tail.


  • Report on the value of death: while in developed countries there is hypertreatment around death, in most countries death occurs without access to basic pain treatment (The Lancet, January 31, 22)
  • The nasal vaccine may be better for successive doses. There are a dozen such vaccines in development in phase 3 trials (NYT, February 2, 22)
  • The “stealth” variant (stealth) does not generate alarm, but it can slow down the decline in the number of cases (NYT, January 31, 22)
  • The sub-variant “ómicron” BA.2, more contagious than the original (FT, 31 January 22)
  • The new variant BA.2, already present in 57 countries, according to the WHO (FT, February 3, 22)
  • New variant of the HIV virus, discovered in the Netherlands (FT, February 3, 22)
  • Genetic editing of pig hearts: a new horizon for transplants (FT, February 2, 22)
  • Cancer vaccines: the new mRNA revolution (El País, Vozpópuli, February 4, 22)
  • Amidst the wide debate on abortion, a simple pill seems the most viable option (The Economist, 5 February 22)


  • AstraZeneca, the most distributed vaccine through COVAX, has already given 2,500 million doses worldwide (ConSalud, January 31, 22)
  • Humanitarian groups denounce that sanctions against Mali may have very adverse health consequences (The Lancet, February 5, 22)



o A study by Johns Hopkins University (Applied Economics Studies magazine) questions the effectiveness of confinement in reducing mortality, which contrasts with the analysis published in Nature in June 2020, which estimates that three million deaths have been prevented in Europe by confinement, 450,000 in Spain (El Independiente, February 3, 22)

o The UK approves the Novavax vaccine (FT, 3 February 22)

o The American army begins to fire its members who refuse the vaccine (The Guardian, February 2, 22)

o The New Zealand border will be reopened in phases from the end of February, the Prime Minister announces (The Guardian, 2 February 22)

o The United States reaches 900,000 deaths from COVID (The Guardian, February 4, 22)

o India exceeds 500,000 deaths from COVID (The Guardian, February 4, 22)

o Europe facing a “long period of tranquility” in the pandemic, says the WHO, due to the lesser severity of the “ómicron” variant, the high percentages of immunization and the good weather (The Guardian, February 3, 22)

o The WTO (World Trade Organization) wants an agreement to release vaccine patents this month (El Español, February 1, 22)

o The German Vaccine Commission recommends the fourth dose for vulnerable and health groups (El País, February 3, 22)

o Beijing seals off several communities for two cases of COVID (The Guardian, January 31, 22)

o The COVID vaccine is already mandatory in Austria, with a great social fracture (Expansión, February 5, 22)

  • Other issues

o New clinical trial system in Europe, which Farmaindustria sees as an opportunity (diariofarma, February 1, 22)

o The EU will act against inequalities against cancer (ConSalud, February 3, 22)



o The sixth wave is being left behind, the cases and hospitalizations are slowing down, although not the deaths that already exceed 6,000 since November (El País, February 5, 22)

o The mask outdoors will no longer be mandatory from next Thursday (El País, February 4, 22)

o Health has not yet closed the purchase of 344,000 doses of Paxlovid (El Español, February 3, 22)

o The AEM authorizes the HIPRA vaccine to go to phase 3 of clinical trials (The Objective, February 1, 22)

  • Political ads

o The new public health center, affected by the decentralization of public offices (diariofarma, February 1, 22)

o The approval of oncological biomarkers, announced as a pending objective of the expansion of the NHS portfolio (diariofarma, February 1, 22)

o The Minister of Health says that the Anti-Tobacco Law needs to be updated (ConSalud, February 4, 22)

  • Other issues

o 27% of pharmaceutical innovations approved in 2021, subject to special financing conditions (diariofarma, February 1, 22)

o Access to new cancer drugs takes more than 19 months in Spain, while in Germany it takes two months, according to doctors and patients (La Vanguardia, February 2, 22)

o Health plan to make rural pharmacies more viable (ConSalud, January 28, 2022)

o The private e-prescription is consolidated (diariofarma, February 2, 22)

o The cartography of cancer in Spain has been published, with very striking results, according to the “Atlas of Cancer Mortality in Portugal and Spain” (El Periódico de España, February 5, 22)


  • American pharmaceutical companies (J&J and three of the largest drug distributors in the United States) agree to pay 590 million dollars to Native Americans for the opioid crisis (El País, February 1, 22)
  • Pharmaceutical cold distribution, new Correos service (Redacción Médica, February 2, 22)
  • Pfizer-Biontech requests authorization from the FDA for the approval of the vaccine for children under 5 years of age (El País, February 1, 22)
  • Private equity companies consider offers of more than 25,000 million dollars for the generics unit of Novartis, Sandoz, Blackstone, Carlyle and EQT, among the most interested (FT, February 1, 22)
  • KKR, CVC, Permira, Bain, Carlyle and PAI outline their bids to take over the fertility company of Valencian origin IVI, the bids range from 1,500 million euros (CincoDías, January 31, 22)
  • Atrys enters the continuous market, as of February 7 (PlantaDoce, February 3, 22)
  • Sanitas gains ground and plans to open 7 rehabilitation centers in 2022 (PlantaDoce, February 1, 22)
  • Adeslas and Caixabank extend their agreement in the Bankia network for 650 million euros (CincoDías, January 27, 22)
  • MIR Asturias acquired by CVC and Alfonso X University (La Nueva España, February 3, 22)
  • Quirón acquires Clínicas Vida and strengthens its care network in Tenerife (PlantaDoce, January 28, 22)
  • Vitaldent expands throughout Andalusia and opens a new clinic in Benalmádena (PlantaDoce, February 3, 22)
  • Group 5 opens a residence for serious mental disorders in Madrid (PlantaDoce, February 3, 22)
  • Prim is reinforced with the purchase of Herbitas laboratories (Expansión, February 4, 22)
  • Pharmamar leads a consortium of companies for the development of advanced therapies (El Economista, February 3, 22)

7 days in healthcare (8-14 November, 2021)




From an international point of view, the appearance of two new drugs for COVID (Merck and Pfizer) is considered a milestone in the evolution of the pandemic. Both drugs are small molecule, easy to produce, and for oral use. The other great milestone of the pandemic was, at the time, the appearance of vaccines. Especially worrying are the high numbers of COVID in Europe, especially in the United Kingdom, Ireland, but also Germany and the Netherlands, without forgetting the special situation due to its seriousness in Romania and Bulgaria.

From the national point of view, the announced draft bill on Equity, Universality and Cohesion of the SNS is of great interest. Although the text of the preliminary draft is not known at the time of writing this note, from what was announced it could be said that the positive aspect is universality (provided that universality is not identified with equity) and the negative are the possible repeal of Law 15 / 97, on enabling new forms of management in the National Health System, the imposition of direct management compared to other more flexible forms of management and bad messages regarding co-payments. It seems that he wants to transfer the idea that “privatization” and “copayments” are the problems of the sector, which is absurd.

Regarding companies, the disappearance of large industrial business conglomerates, such as J&J and GE, is striking. It should be noted that in both operations one of the bets is health. This contrasts, instead, with the creation of tech giants (Google, Amazon, Apple, etc.).




  • The Economist forecast: COVID will most likely disappear by 2022. Success: vaccines and new drugs. Failure: immunity at terrible cost, 16.5 million deaths worldwide (The Economist, 8 Nov 21)
  • The Economist welcomes the extension of “assisted death” as a new and important right, started in 1995 in Australia and already legal in a dozen countries, most recently Portugal. It is not yet legal in the UK, but Parliament is discussing a law on the subject. In the Netherlands, 4% of deaths are assisted (The Economist, 13 Nov 21)
  • The new anti-COVID drugs represent a significant change in the pandemic (the first notable change was that of vaccines). The new drugs are malnupiravir (Merck) and paxlovid (Pfizer). Both are “small molecule” drugs, easy to produce and for oral use (The Economist, 12 Nov 21)
  • 100 Years of Insulin (Toronto, 1922), a therapeutic success, but a failure in its worldwide spread. The producing companies are Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly and Sanofi. Now there is biosimilar (The Lancet, Nov 13, 21)
  • The 100,000 genomes project in the United Kingdom (Genomics England) has made it possible to catalog, and in some cases treat, many rare diseases (New England Journal of Medicine, 11 Nov 21)
  • The rise of the COVID epidemic in Germany (almost 500 cases in the last 14 days per 100,000 inhabitants), at the peak and rising, is considered an pandemic of the unvaccinated. Among the factors, the interim Merkel government is valued (NYT, 11 Nov 21). Merkel will meet with the “Länder” next week to take measures against the growth of the covid (El Mundo, 11 Nov 21)
  • The Netherlands imposes new restrictions, as COVID cases are very high (The Guardian, 12 Nov 21)
  • The governments of 42 countries (including the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany) ask to cut emissions from the healthcare sector. The sector’s emissions represent 5% of the total. If it were considered a country, the health sector would be the 5th emitter of CO2 pollution (NYT, 8 Nov 21)
  • The Economist analyzes the non-zero cost of China’s zero-COVID policy (The Economist, 13 Nov 21)
  • COVID vaccination will be mandatory for NHS staff starting next spring (FT, 9 Nov 21)
  • Waiting lists on the NHS soared. They grow by 100,000 people in a month. More than 5.8 million were waiting in September, with 12,500 awaiting treatment for more than two years (FT, Nov 11 21)



  • The government approves the “preliminary draft of the Law by which various norms are modified to consolidate the equity, universality and cohesion of the National Health System” (reference of the Council of Ministers 8 Nov 21)
  • The Secretary of State for Health publishes a prior consultation on the draft bill of measures for equity, universality and cohesion of the National Health System, establishing the November 19 deadline for submitting opinions.
  • The Minister of Health, in public statements, mentions the laws that are going to be repealed or modified. Among those that will be repealed, “explicitly and expressly”, she mentions Law 15/97, on enabling new forms of management in the National Health System (El Periódico de España, 8 Nov 21)
  • The BOE publishes the agreement between the Government, certain autonomous communities and the Amando Ortega Foundation, for the implementation of 10 proton therapy equipment in the public system. A monitoring commission is created on the subject (BOE, no. 267, 8 Nov 21)
  • The health PERTE is presented on November 15. It is integrated into the five PERTES that the government has devised: cutting-edge healthcare, electric vehicle, new language economy, aerospace and smart and sustainable food chain. It appears that the health PERTE will have three components: 1. Innovative techniques and technologies for the diagnosis and prevention of diseases; 2. Development of advanced therapies; and, 3. Platform for the design and industrial production of medicines and vaccines (ConSalud, 11 Nov 21)
  • The autonomies claim to maintain the covid funds for 2022 (El País, 9 Nov 21)
  • The University of Washington predicts a sixth wave of covid in Spain (Vozpópuli, 8 Nov 21)
  • The cumulative incidence of covid grows in Spain to 71.5 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days. It is not comparable to the figures of other European countries, but it continues to rise slowly (ConSalud, 12 Nov 21)
  • The waiting list grows. The latest data published is from December 31, 2020 and the waiting time had passed, in relation to the previous record, from 121 to 148 days for interventions. Pending publication of the data corresponding to June 2021 (ConSalud, 8 Nov 21)



  • J&J (Johnson & Johnson) will be divided into two companies: one dedicated to consumer products and the other to drugs and medical devices (NYT, 12 Nov 21)
  • GE (General Electric) will be divided into three companies: health, energy and aviation (FT, 9 Nov 21)
  • The Spanish pharmaceutical industry proposes a plan of 1.7 billion to produce essential drugs (CincoDías, 10 Nov 21)
  • Moderna rejects the claims of the American government to appear as a co-inventor of vaccine technology (FT, 11 Nov 21)
  • BioNTech shoots its profit up to 7,126 million euros in the first nine months of the year. (Floor Twelve, Nov 9, 21)
  • The Zendal hospital in the post-pandemic: 400 personnel for 38 patients (, Nov 7 21)
  • Fresenius is interested, along with other investors, in InsudPharma, specialized in biosimilars and valued at 1,000 million euros (El Periódico de España, Nov 9, 21)
  • Advent gives gas to Vitaldent, with the purchase of Smysecret (dental aesthetic treatments) (PlantaDoce, 12 Nov 21)
  • Acciona will build a hospital in Chile (PlantaDoce, 11 Nov 21)
  • KKR enters fertility with the purchase of GeneraLife from Invesindustrial (Expansión, 10 Nov 21)
  • HIPRA will imminently begin the new phase of clinical trials for its vaccine (El Economista, Nov 8, 21)
  • Grifols liquidates the blood bag business and closes production in Brazil and Murcia (Cinco Días, Nov 12, 21)