7 days in healthcare (April 3rd-9th, 2023)



From the point of view of Biomedicine, vaccines against cancer and heart disease, based on mRNA technology, which are looming on the horizon 2030, seem to be the next great advance in medicine, potentially saving millions of lives. The Economist dedicates an article and an editorial to demonstrate the weak evidence for the therapy of gender transitions in adolescents, especially when they include pharmacological or surgical medication. Contrary to what had been a very popular assumption, moderate alcohol consumption does not produce health benefits, according to a study of more than 40 years published by the JAMA Network Open. Rather the opposite is true.

As regards Global Health, the WHO, born after the Second World War, is celebrating its 75th anniversary. He has emerged from the pandemic with injuries and issues, but acutely aware of his mission, purpose, and need for change. One of the problems it encounters is the discrepancies between countries in the discussion of a treaty on pandemics, which it intends to be approved in 2024. The Lancet publishes several articles on the commercial determinants of health, a subject of great interest. interest. Four industries – tobacco, unhealthy eating, oil and fossil fuels, and alcohol – are responsible for a third of deaths each year globally.

As for International Health Policy, in the United States, a federal judge in Texas has just banned the use of an abortion drug, which had been approved by the FDA more than 20 years ago. In France, the citizens’ convention, made up of 184 citizens chosen by lot, has just ruled in favor of euthanasia and assisted suicide, although with certain “red lines”. Macron wants to discuss the bill before the summer.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), surgical waiting lists set a new record, according to the report made public by the Ministry of Health, with data as of December 31, 2022. Almost 900,000 people waiting for a surgical intervention. An absolutely delegitimizing element of the system. As is well known, the Ministry only makes public the waiting lists for surgical intervention or specialist consultations, but not for special tests (radiology, radiotherapy, ultrasound, etc.), on which there are no national data, although there are some autonomous communities. Interesting article published in Gaceta Sanitaria on the economic impact of including dental care in public coverage. This is an issue that the majority political parties have been pronouncing in favor of for several years, but nothing has been done on it. Spain is possibly the European country with the least percentage of its health spending devoted to dental care. The declarations of the Minister of Health of Catalonia are surprising, justifying the dismissal of the nurses who criticized the Catalan C1. Since this type of statement about specific dismissals is not common among regional ministers, it is to be assumed that there is an important political background. The decision of Navarra and Asturias to launch public companies, one for medical transport and another for a hospital laundry, is also surprising. Wouldn’t there have been the possibility of resorting to private initiative to solve these needs, perhaps more efficiently than through a public company?

In the field of Companies, internationally, agreement between Medtronic and Davita to launch Mozarc. At the national level, it is worth noting the start of work on the Viamed hospital in Tarragona, and the separation of the “pharmacy” and “chemistry” areas of the company Esteve.


Global Health

International Health Policy

National Health Policy




7 days in healthcare (May 23th-29th, 2022)




From the point of view of biomedicine, the most important are the advances in the study of the microbiota, published in the journal Science.

As far as Global Health is concerned, the tragic mistake of the donation of vaccines by Europe should be highlighted, since many of those sent were close to expiration. Reappearance of polio in Africa, always worrying.

Regarding international health policy, the European health agency asks governments to be prepared against possible vaccination against monkeypox. Health bursts into the spotlight at the Davos Economic Forum.

If we talk about national health policy (Spain), Spain joins the European system for the purchase of vaccines against monkeypox. The MIR call leaves 200 vacancies for family doctors. An emergency situation is addressed, but not the underlying problem: the unattractive nature of these places.

In the field of companies, it should be noted that, according to Expansión, private insurance customers are dissatisfied with the massive use of the service. Between this and the unhappiness of both doctors and providers with the fees, it seems that significant changes are coming in this sector.


Global health

International health policy

  • Monkeypox

o The European health agency asks governments to be prepared for vaccination against monkeypox (

o The monkeypox virus, what we know so far that alarms countries (

o Monkeypox, more than 180 cases outside Africa, countries prepare to vaccinate ( 180-cas-confirmes-hors-d-afrique-des-pays-se-preparent-a-vacciner_6127608_3244.html)

o A study published in The Lancet points to an antiviral as a possible treatment for monkeypox ( monkey_1_9018642.html)

  • COVID-19

o Lessons from Japan on dealing with covid, since this country had six waves and the number of cases and deaths per capita has been lower than other G7 countries, despite having an aging and highly concentrated population (https ://

o More than 1 in 5 COVID survivors may develop long covid in the United States (

o Pfizer warns of constant waves of covid-19, while complacency grows (

o What justifies the zero-covid policy in China?, an analysis by Zhang Jun, director of the China Center for Economic Studies in Shanghai ( -keeps-its-zero-covid-strategy-by-zhang-jun-2022-05)

o A study suggests that women are twice as likely to suffer from persistent covid (

  • Other themes

o Health bursts into the spotlight at the return of the Davos Economic Forum, with the presence of Bill Gates, the CEO of Pfizer and the president of AstraZeneca, among others ( health-breaks-in-as-protagonist-in-the-return-of-the-davos-economic-forum.html)

o Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus re-elected as WHO Director General (

o Oklahoma Governor signs law strictly banning abortion (

National health policy (Spain)

  • Monkeypox

o At least six countries have detected cases of monkeypox in travelers from Spain ( monkeypox-in-travelers-from-spain.html)

o 41% of monkeypox cases are in Spain (

o Spain will enter the European system for the purchase of the monkeypox vaccine ( -eu-to-deal-with-monkeypox)


o The cumulative incidence, down (728.2 cases in the last 14 days; there were 848 the previous Friday. Hospital occupancy due to covid: 5.6%; ICUs: 4.2%) (https://www.consalud .es/patients/special-coronavirus/covid-19-spain-coronavirus-data_115366_102.html)

  • Regulatory announcements

o New Framework Statute, at the table of the Advisory Council on June 2 ( advisory-of-june-2-5764)

o A new draft of the Preliminary Draft Law is published, which modifies various regulations to consolidate the equity, universality and cohesion of the National Health System, after its approval in the Interterritorial Council of April 2022 (https://www.diariofarma .com/2022/04/06/el-cisns-da-luz-verde-a-la-ley-de-equidad), held in Toledo. In relation to the previous version of 11/15/2021, more requirements are introduced for agreement, incorporating the concept of “effective cost” previously established and reviewable by the Administration

  • Other themes

o The Ministry of Health marks November for the new palliative strategy ( 6597)

o The public debt to suppliers amounts to 2,000 million (

o Warning from Brussels to Spain due to the “shortage” of health professionals and primary care financing (

o Podemos takes the “deprivatization” of the SNS to Congress (

o The lack of family doctors worsens as the MIR call leaves 200 places vacant ( la-convocatoria-de-mir-deja-200-plazas-vacantes.html), for which it is agreed to increase the number of MIR vacancies for non-EU people to fill the vacancies ( y-salud/salud/2022/05/25/628e86d3e4d4d85f418b45e6.html


  • International News

o Pfizer intends to obtain approval in the USA for the covid vaccine for children under 5 years of age (

o Medtronic and DaVita announce the creation of a kidney health technology company (

o The USA will deploy the Bavarian Nordic monkeypox vaccine ( html)

o The IFPMA (global employers association of pharmaceutical manufacturers) proposes 10 measures to fight the next pandemic ( against-the-next-pandemic)

  • National News

o Grupo Juste, a Spanish pharmaceutical company that turns 100 (

o Esteve intends to double its turnover, reaching 1,000 million euros (

o Clients of private health insurance, disappointed by the mass use of the service (

o The private sector of assisted reproduction moves 500 million in 2021, 9% more than in 2020 ( -in-2021-a-9-more-than-in-2020.html)

o FENIN registers a 27% decrease in investment in 2021 (

o Sanitas and the San Pablo CEU University sign an agreement for the training of health professionals ( assistance-future/3406605)

o Malaga will have a new public hospital in 2023, after the agreement with the Pascual group (






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



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

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

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


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


  • Incidence of COVID and evolution of the sixth wave

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

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

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

  • “Influenzaization of the pandemic”

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

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

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

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

  • Regulation of the price of antigen tests

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

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

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

  • The third and fourth doses are extended

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

  • Purchase of COVID medications

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

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

  • Serious problem with sick leave

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

o This situation collapses health centers

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

  • Ayuso Plan to stimulate the birth rate in Madrid

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

  • Other themes

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

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

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

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


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