Posts

7 days in healthcare (October 9th-15th, 2023)

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, after years of research, scientists have published an atlas of the brain, the most unknown organ and whose knowledge will allow great advances in biomedicine. This week 21 articles have appeared about the brain and its cells. The work is done under the BRAIN Initiative Census Network project. The objectives of this effort were three: first, to understand the cellular components of the brain; second, to know which cells are affected in neurological and psychiatric diseases; and, third, what makes the brain of Homo sapiens different from that of other animals. The brain is the most complex object in the universe and contains around 3,000 types of cells. Until recently it was believed that the human body, including the brain, had only 300 types of cells. Artificial intelligence, new therapeutic vaccines, xenotransplantations and quantum computing, in the focus of monitoring progress in medical sciences.

Regarding Global Health, The Lancet asks in several articles the impact on health of a world with a shortage of work, since until now a job in good conditions was considered important for health. The malaria community welcomes the WHO approval of the new vaccine. Malaria kills half a million children a year, mainly under five years old. This decision is expected to improve access to doses of the vaccine, especially in Africa. 28 African countries are going to introduce this vaccine as part of their immunization program.

Regarding International Health Policy, in the United States pharmaceutical companies agree to negotiate the price of medicines with Medicare, despite the fact that some maintain lawsuits against the American government. In the European Union, the shortage of amoxicillin, a widely used antibiotic, persists. There is also in the EU an increase in deaths due to mental disorders.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the government puts out to public consultation the draft Royal Decree for the evaluation of health technologies which, among other things, rethinks the economic evaluation of medicines, incorporating the participation of professionals and patients and attempting predictability and transparency in decision-making times.

In the field of Companies, at the international level, it is worth highlighting that the global cannabis market will reach 100 billion in 2030. At the national level, Sanitas is launching an educational experience, which is an example of the importance they give healthcare companies to the issue of training, aware that attracting and retaining talent will be the most important competitive advantage.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International health policy

National health policy

Companies

 

 

7 days in healthcare (September 19th-25th, 2022)

 

Summary

From the point of view of biomedicine, to review the articles in The Economist on advances in knowledge of the brain, which will have a great impact on the appearance of new drugs and pain therapy.

With regard to Global Health, the WHO report of September 21, which places cancers, cardiovascular conditions and diabetes as responsible for three quarters of global mortality.

In terms of international health policy, an important initiative in France to offer three preventive consultations free of charge by the public system: at 25, 45 and 65 years of age. The EU launches a plan for the elimination of tuberculosis in Europe.

If we talk about national health policy (Spain), great debate around the Equity Law. What should have been just a law to correct the access deficiencies of the Montón Law, is being flamboyantly called “Equity” (as if accessibility guaranteed equity, not having a single provision to improve equity), and It is used to introduce the aspirations of Unidas Podemos to annul Law 15/97, approved almost unanimously at the time. The IDIS Foundation has warned of the damage to assistance and, specifically, the waiting lists, if some precepts of the Law are approved. It seems that the Catalan consortiums are going to respect each other, which is important, but it is also important to preserve and reinforce public/private concerts throughout the national territory.

At the corporate level, from an international point of view, the shares of the large vaccine manufacturers (especially Moderna, BioNTech and Novavax) plummeted, as a result of President Biden’s announcement that “the pandemic has been feared”. In Spain, it should be noted that Moderna will install its first quality laboratory outside the United States in Madrid.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International health policy

National health policy

Companies

 

 

7 days in healthcare (September 5th-11th, 2022)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, to highlight the work that shows an association between artificial sweeteners and increased cardiovascular risk. Also that air pollution causes lung cancer.

As far as Global Health is concerned, apart from the serious humanitarian crises in Pakistan and Somalia, the most promising is the new malaria vaccine, which could be operational as early as 2023.

Regarding international health policy, assisted suicide and euthanasia are news in Canada (where the rate of euthanasia is very high and there is concern) and in France (which is considering passing a law). Macron has launched a major national debate on this issue, following a report to appear next week from the Ethics Committee. This great debate on such a delicate subject was missed in Spain. Certain issues should not be subject only to conjunctural parliamentary majorities, but should be preceded by a great national debate. It is also worth mentioning that Chile rejected the draft Constitution in a referendum. According to an article published in El País, doubts about the possibility of choosing the health system (the continuity of the ISAPRES, as health insurers are called in Chile), is one of the causes of this rejection.

If we talk about national health policy (Spain), it should be noted that Aragón proposes a great debate on the efficiency of the National Health System, a brave and valuable initiative. It will first analyze the Aragonese health system, and then share that analysis with the rest of the autonomies. Also that the Ministry of Health promises to change the law to favor the local manufacture of medicines. It is also worth underlining the pronouncement of the Catalan Evaluation Agency, on the need for a state policy for the digital transformation of the health system and the promotion of telemedicine.

In the field of companies, from the international point of view, to mention the purchase of Signify a home care group by CVS (an American pharmaceutical chain), in a process in which Amazon also showed interest. In terms of news at the national level, to highlight the great investment of Novartis in our country.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International health policy

National health policy

Companies

 

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

 

Summary

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.

Biomedicine

Global health

International health policy

National health policy

Companies

 

 

 

 

 

7 days in healthcare (July 11th-17th, 2022)

 

Summary

From the point of view of biomedicine, the finding that there are plans to produce vaccines in cases of pandemic in 100 days should be highlighted. If it is confirmed, it will be a positive consequence of the terrible covid pandemic, in the same way that wars sometimes produce technological advances.

With regard to Global Health, the efforts of the WHO to create a hub for the production of vaccines with mRNA technology in poor countries should be noted, given the failure of other initiatives, based more on goodwill than on realistic approaches.

As for International Health Policy, there is already evidence of the vaccines that have saved the most lives in the world. The first was that of AstraZeneca-Oxford, followed by that of Pfizer-BioNTech.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the wave of covid continues to grow, with an increased impact on hospitals, although it seems that we are already close to the “peak” of this wave. Plans for a new dose of the vaccine for those over 60 years of age. Important changes are announced in Madrid’s healthcare, given the seriousness of the problems in waiting lists, primary care and emergencies. Let’s hope that the plan is effective and does not remain in one more advertisement, to which we are so accustomed. It seems that the State Public Health Center will be created immediately, which is great news, if it is done well. The fact that it will not be an independent Agency (AIREF model) may lead to skepticism.

In the field of companies, it seems that a new pill is in sight, announced as almost miraculous, against obesity.

Biomedicine

Global health

  • Nature: A vaccine hub for low-income countries. WHO initiative to produce mRNA vaccines in low-income countries, given the failure of “charity”. Issues over the global vaccine market, global trade rules, and intellectual property (https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-01895-6)
  • The war in Ukraine. the devastation of health and human rights. Between February-24 and June-24, the WHO reported 323 attacks on health facilities, with 76 deaths and 59 injuries (https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2207415)

International health policy

National health policy

Companies

 

 

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

 

 

 

SUMMARY

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

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

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

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

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

BIOMEDICINE

GLOBAL HEALTH

INTERNATIONAL HEALTH POLICY

NATIONAL HEALTH POLICY (SPAIN)

  • COVID

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

o Deaths from covid skyrocket in the sixth wave (https://www.elindependiente.com/vida-sana/salud/2022/02/19/las-muertes-por-covid-se-disparan-en-febrero-con-4-365-fallecidos-y-elevan-a-11-081-las-de-la-sexta-ola/)

o Waiting for the antivirals that Sánchez promised in January (https://www.elespanol.com/ciencia/salud/20220214/omicron-mata-espera-antivirales-sanchez-prometio-enero/650185438_0.html)

o Public health detects an explosion of scabies cases related to the pandemic (https://elpais.com/sociedad/2022-02-19/la-sanidad-publica-detecta-una-explosion-de-casos-de- scabies-related-to-the-pandemic.html)

o Sports events capacity returns to 100% on March 4 (https://www.consalud.es/politica/consejo-interterritorial-decide-recuperar-aforos-deportivos-100-4-marzo_110196_102.html)

  • Political announcements

o The Government approves the Science Law project that the sector sees with room for improvement (https://www.diariomedico.com/investigacion/el-gobierno-aproba-una-ley-de-ciencia-que-los-investigadores-ven-muy -improveable.html?check_logged_in=1)

o Changes in the portfolio of services: more oral health and screening (https://www.redaccionmedica.com/secciones/ministerio-sanidad/la-nueva-cartera-comun-del-sns-contempla-mas-salud-bucodental- y-screened-6455)

o Spain adheres to the International Vaccine Institute (https://www.consalud.es/politica/gobierno-aprob-adhesion-espana-instituto-internacional-vacunas_110110_102.html)

  • Other issues

o Health approves the new vaccination schedule for 2022 (https://www.larazon.es/sociedad/20220217/as5pmub735hwpmxosjjwlzapty.html)

o Strong mobilizations in the Andalusian health sector (https://www.elconfidencial.com/espana/andalucia/2022-02-19/sanidad-andalucia-manifestaciones-sindicatos-partidas_3378408/)

o Mass retirement of health workers: a drag on the SNS (https://www.consalud.es/profesionales/jubilacion-masiva-sanitarios-quebradero-cabeza-sistema-nacional-salud_110332_102.html)

o Private healthcare demands a clear legal framework in the National Security Law (https://www.redaccionmedica.com/secciones/privada/la-privada-reclama-un-marco-juridico-claro-en-la-nueva- security-law-8788)

o Lack of equity in access to drugs and markers (https://cincodias.elpais.com/cincodias/2022/02/16/companias/1645013239_112550.html)

COMPANIES, EMPLOYERS AND OTHER AGENTS IN THE SECTOR

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

 

SUMMARY

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.

BIOMEDICINE

  • 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)

GLOBAL HEALTH

  • 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)

INTERNATIONAL HEALTH POLICY

  • COVID

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)

NATIONAL HEALTH POLICY (SPAIN)

  • COVID

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)

COMPANIES, EMPLOYERS AND OTHER AGENTS IN THE SECTOR

  • 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 (December 20-26, 2021)

 

 

Summary

From an international point of view, possibly the most interesting is the summary of the year 2021 by The Lancet; also the studies that seem to show that the “omicron” variant is not only more contagious (which was already known), but that it produces a milder form of disease; the NEJM analyzes Amazon’s health offering; and finally, Israel’s attempts to move forward with the fourth dose.

As for national news, the most relevant thing is the great increase in the pandemic in Spain, which fundamentally translates into pressure on Primary Care and Emergencies, not so much in hospitals; the attitude of the central government in the Conference of Presidents of not imposing restrictive measures, in contrast to what is being done in other European countries; and the failures of the strategic reserve in health, which is causing a great shortage of antigen tests at this time.

With regard to companies and other agents in the sector, it is important to highlight that Europe approves the Novavax vaccine, which would already be the fifth vaccine approved in Europe. Also the authorization of the Merck pill by the FDA for high risk covid. From the point of view of corporate movements, perhaps the most relevant is the purchase of CERNER by Oracle, which may revolutionize the field of hospital informatics.

International

 

  • Farhat Yaqub summarizes for The Lancet the most notable events of 2021 in health: the COVID-19 pandemic, which had produced 3.3 million deaths globally as of December 10, 21, more than in 2020; COVID vaccination, with more than 8.4 billion doses administered through December 11; Biden instead of Trump, one of Biden’s first actions was to sign the executive order for the US to return to the WHO; the health impact of the conflict in Ethiopia; the effects of the decline in UK development aid; the COP 26 meeting in Glascow, which put climate change on the health agenda; the crisis in Afghanistan, the most serious current humanitarian crisis; abortion laws: legal in Argentina, banned in Honduras, severe restrictions in Texas; restrictions also in China; the approved malaria vaccine; severe shortage of midwives (The Lancet, Dec 18 21)
  • Three studies (England, Scotland and South Africa) show that the “omicron” variant produces milder COVID, with much less chance of being admitted to hospital (British Medical Journal, 23 Dec 21)
  • A NEJM article looks at Amazon’s healthcare offering: a combination of telemedicine and home care. Three main actions: mobile app; home assessment by a nurse; distribution of medication at home in two hours. A hybrid experience online and in person (NEJM, 23 Dec 21)
  • COVID vaccines are less effective against the “omicron” variant, says the EMA (FT, Dec 20 21)
  • Israel May Give Fourth Vaccine Dose, Despite Expert Reservations (NYT, Dec 23 21)
  • The “omicron” variant responsible for 75% of the cases in the USA (FT, Dec 21, 21)
  • The “omicron” variant has revealed a world not yet prepared for pandemics (FT, Dec 22 21)
  • US military announce SpFN, a valid vaccine against all variants of the coronavirus, including “omicron” (La Razón, Dec 22 21)
  • The “omicron” variant causes the cancellation of almost 5,000 flights around the world during the days of Christmas Eve and Christmas (CincoDías, 25 Dec 21)

National News

  • The incidence of COVID shoots up to 911 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days (El País, 23 Dec 21)
  • Germany declares Spain as a high-risk territory due to COVID (El País, 23 Dec 21)
  • Sánchez prioritizes the economy in the sixth wave and avoids any restrictive measure in the Conference of Presidents, apart from the mandatory nature of outdoor masks and certain possibilities of hiring professionals without recognized degrees (La Razón, Dec 24 21)
  • Feijóo, Moreno, Urkullu and Aragonés consider that the mask on the street is not enough (El Confidencial, Dec 22 21)
  • Harsh criticism from the General Council of Medical Associations in the absence of measures against COVID: “they seek formulas to avoid the burden of responsibility and fear to implement measures that contradict or further anger citizen-voters” (La Vanguardia, Dec 24 21 )
  • The ICUs of ten communities are already at “high risk” due to patient occupation (Aragon, Asturias, Balearic Islands, Cantabria, Castilla y León, Catalonia, Valencian Community, Navarra, Basque Country and La Rioja) (Vozpópuli, Dec 24 21)
  • The sixth wave will leave 9,000 dead in Spain, according to a study by the University of Washington (IHME, Covid 19 Results Briefing, Spain, December 23, 21)
  • The strategic health reserve falls short and does not alleviate the shortage of tests (El Periódico de España, Dec 25 21)
  • Spain has practiced a hundred euthanasias since the approval of the new law (The Objective, Dec 18 21)
  • Strong statements by President Díaz-Ayuso: “In some health centers, not everyone wants to work and pitch in” (El País, Dec 21, 21)
  • SEMERGEN demands that Díaz-Ayuso reconsider her statements about primary care (ConSalud, Dec 22 21)

Companies, employers and main health actors

 

  • Europe approves the Novavax vaccine. It would be the fifth COVID vaccine approved in Europe, after those of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen (FT, Dec 20 21)
  • Biogen cuts the price of its Alzheimer’s drug in half, due to low sales and divisions by experts about its benefits (FT, Dec 20 21)
  • Merck’s COVID pill is FDA cleared for high-risk adults (NYT, Dec 23, 21)
  • FENIN report on the hospital technological profile, with data updated to December 2020. FENIN has been conducting this study since 2009 (FENIN, Dec 21)
  • “MiQuirónsalud”, the portal that the hospital group makes available to its patients, exceeds four million users (ConSalud, Dec 21 21)
  • Oracle buys CERNER for more than 28,000 million euros to grow in health (PlantaDoce, Dec 22 21)
  • Atrys Health acquires 100% of Simm Molecular, which is dedicated to medical diagnosis in nuclear medicine (PlantaDoce, Dec 17 21)
  • Health in code and the Portuguese Algarve Biomedical Center sign an agreement for genetic diagnosis (PlantaDoce, Dec 22 21)
  • MBA (a medical technology company very oriented to orthopedics-traumatology and based in Asturias), until now owned by Alantra, is acquired by the Swedish group Addlife for 111 million euros (Medical Writing, 23 Dec 21)
  • Viamed, owned by the Macquarie fund, acquires the Fuensanta hospital in Madrid, until now owned by the Merina family. With this, Viamed now reaches 12 hospitals in Spain (PlantaDoce, 23 Dec 21)

7 days in healthcare (1-7 november, 2021)

 

 

ABSTRACT

From an international point of view, to highlight something we knew: that WHO, in its current configuration, is not prepared for global health challenges. However, this finding is important in the article in the British Medical Journal by Anthony Costello. Europe, once again in the center of expansion of the pandemic. The decision of the North American Democrats to reduce the price of medicines, via the negotiation in Medicare, is very far-reaching. This decision, if applied, will have major consequences for the entire pharmaceutical industry globally.

At the national level, to highlight the article in The Lancet, which says that Spain could have achieved group immunity. For the rest, the incidence of COVID continues to grow in our country, although it does not reach, by far, those of other European countries. Waiting lists are a big concern throughout Spain. Controversy over the new Equity, Universalization and Cohesion Law. Podemos wants to take advantage of it to repeal Law 15/1997, which allows the outsourcing of health services.

As a business activity, to highlight the two new antivirals against covid-19, one from Merck and the other from Pfizer. Merck has released the patent so that it can be used widely in developing countries. Novartis dissociates itself from Roche, selling it its 33% stake in the latter company.

INTERNATIONAL

  • The WHO, in its current configuration, is not ready for its purpose, but is limited by lack of funds and political interference, and this has been demonstrated in this pandemic that has produced more than 18 million deaths, writes the economist Anthony Costello in the British Medical Journal (BMJ, 3 Nov 21)
  • Europe once again at the center of the covid pandemic, says WHO, (The Guardian, 4 Nov 21)
  • The WHO warns of the increase in deaths from covid in 56 countries, and insists that vaccine manufacturers have not done their job well (ConSalud, 5 Nov 21)
  • Democrats in the United States reach an agreement to reduce the price of drugs, allowing the government to negotiate the price of Medicare drugs. The United States pays three times more for many drugs than Europe, according to a study by the Brookings Institution. Initially, the measure will be launched with the 12 most expensive drugs (FT, 2 Nov 21)
  • The fourth wave continues to beat the record of infections in Greece, with almost 7,000 daily (El Confidencial, 6 Nov 21)
  • Excess mortality grows in Russia, since the beginning of the pandemic (FT, 2 Nov 21)
  • The management of the pandemic leaves a trail of investigated political leaders: Brazil, France, Italy, Austria, India, … (El Debate, 2 Nov 21)
  • India’s successes against covid are analyzed: more than half of Indians have received at least one dose of the vaccine. 6 million are vaccinated every day (The Economist, 29 Oct 21)

NATIONAL

 

  • The Lancet suggests that Spain could have achieved group immunity. They are based on the high infections and the high percentage of vaccination (La Razón, 3 Nov 21)
  • The incidence of covid rises more than two points, to 53.7 cases per 100,000 inhabitants (El País, 5 Nov 21)
  • Madrid for the first time exceeds half a million patients to see the specialist. Experts warn that the pandemic has generated in Spain a dammed demand that will emerge in the coming semesters (El País, 5 Nov 21)
  • Spain, one of the five countries in which Covid-19 caused the greatest loss in life expectancy, according to a study published by the British Medical Journal (ABC, 3 Nov 21)
  • The Health Ministry sells a million vaccines to Australia, New Zealand and Paraguay, before they expire (El Español, 2 Nov 21)
  • The WHO requests to increase oral public coverage in Spain (Health Act. The proposal receives the support of the General Council of Dentists (Health Act, 5 Nov 21)
  • Podemos will not support the Darias Equity Law. The Ministry wants to promote a Law of Equity, Universality and Cohesion and Podemos does not support it by not repealing Law 15/1997, which allows the outsourcing of health services (ConSalud, 5 Nov 21)
  • The Health Ministry seeks location for its strategic reserve of covid material (El Periódico de España, 5 Nov 21)

COMPANIES, EMPLOYERS AND MAIN ACTORS IN HEALTH

 

  • Merck drug effective to treat covid-19. The drug is an oral antiviral, called molnupiravir, and has already been approved by the British Agency. It has been launched by Merck and Ridbback Biotherapeutics, a Florida-based biotech. The drug is indicated for the unvaccinated and for those vaccinated who develop the disease. The treatment will be worth US $ 700 in developed countries. Merck will allow the development of generics in 105 countries (The Economist, 4 Nov 21)
  • Alphabet, Google’s parent company, launches an AI company, Isomorphic Labs, for the discovery of new drugs. It will work together with DeepMinds, Google’s AI company (FT, 4 Nov 21)
  • Pfizer increases the sales forecast of its covid vaccine in 2021 to 36,000 million US $ (FT, 2 Nov 21)
  • Biogroup, a bioanalysis group piloted by Stéphane Eimer and with a presence in Belgium, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom, enters the Iberian Peninsula with the purchase of Cerba Internacional and Analiza (both owned by Marcelo Weisz). ASISA will retain its 50% stake in Analiza (Les Echos, 4 Nov 21)
  • Novavax, a protein-based American covid-19 vaccine, receives its first approval in Indonesia. May promote immunization in developing countries. An application for authorization has also been sent to Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union (FT, 1 Nov 21)
  • Pfizer announces an antiviral pill (Paxlovid) that prevents 89% of hospitalizations and deaths from covid (El País, 5 Nov 21)
  • The Valencian government will propose to the Data Protection Agency a sanction to Ribera for withholding data from the Torrevieja hospital (eldiario.es, Nov 4 21)
  • Centene closes the year of the coronavirus with losses in its health adventure in Spain (Nov 6, 21)
  • “Son Espases”: the macro-investigation on the concession to OHL of this hospital in the Balearic Islands, which links the Balearic Islands with the illegal financing of the PP (eldiario.es, Nov 5, 21)
  • Novartis sells its 33% stake to Roche for more than US $ 20 billion. A relationship of more than twenty years between the two companies is ended (PlantaDoce, Nov 4, 21)
  • MD Anderson launches a clinical trials unit (PlantaDoce, 3 Nov 21)
  • Eugin expands through Canada and acquires the fertility centers of Trio Fertility (PlantaDoce, 2 Nov 21)
  • Affidea, a European provider of diagnostic imaging, outpatient services and cancer care, expands in Spain and Northern Ireland with two new acquisitions (PlantaDoce, Nov 3, 21)
  • The biotechnology company of Spanish origin Aura Biosciences, jumps to the Nasdaq (PlantaDoce, 3 Nov 21)
  • Rovi doubles its profit in the first nine months of 2021, to 99 million (PlantaDoce, 3 Nov 21)