Posts

7 days in healthcare (September 25th-October 1st, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, The Economist raises the issue of how research on aging makes the prospect of living to 120 years less unimaginable.

Regarding Global Health, The Lancet publishes a study prepared with information from 185 countries that shows how a more “feminist” approach could have saved hundreds of lives of women with cancer. Surprising news from COVAX, the body created to distribute covid vaccines to developing countries: billions of its budget unspent.

Regarding International Health Policy, the pharmaceutical industry warns against the possible harms of the application of the European Union’s pharmaceutical policy, in this case the reduction of medicines against rare diseases. The pharmaceutical policy has not yet been approved, so this sounds like putting the bandage before the wound.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the news of the week was the failed investiture of Feijóo. In his speech he addressed health problems. Although logically in a discourse of this type the sectoral details must necessarily be brief and what is interesting is the general tone, the poverty of the health discourse is surprising. The proposals are reduced to a shock plan for Primary Care and new medical calls, in addition to a “commission of experts” to address the problems of the sector for which no initial proposal is launched. It does not seem that there is a mature reform program in the PP when it comes to health. The news of the approval of a catalog of biomarkers in the SNS, which will be published electronically, seems like good news.

In the field of Companies, at the international level, the EU’s talks with Moderna for the new supply of covid vaccines should be highlighted. At the national level, Sanitas is reinforced in Andalusia with a new center in Malaga; an Austrian company will create a wellness center in Marbella; and, Atrys Health continues its expansion in Mexico, through an agreement with BUPA.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International health policy

National health policy

Companies

 

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

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, it is worth highlighting that the famous doctor and communicator Eric Topol publishes an article in the magazine Science about the multiplication of medical applications of artificial intelligence. The number of variables of each individual person (anatomical, genomic, metabolomics, epigenomics, etc.) can only be captured and used in diagnosis and treatment through the use of artificial intelligence. Clinicians must become familiar with these new tools and possibilities.

Regarding Global Health, The Lancet comments on what happened with the mpox pandemic (previously called monkeypox), which triggered a global alarm from the WHO and which today has decreased significantly. UN high-level meeting on tuberculosis, whose mortality has increased recently, after years of decline. The Gates Foundation proposes simple and cheap measures to improve the health of women who give birth, since 800 women globally die in childbirth every day.

In terms of International Health Policy, there is an emphasis on measures not learned during Covid, as global politicians seem to move away from fundamental concerns such as equitable access to vaccines and greater transparency. Alcoholism is a serious and very common disease in the USA, causing around 140,000 alcohol-related deaths each year in that country. It seems that the new medications (Ozempic, Wegovby) now used for obesity may also be useful in alcoholism, by curbing consumption. In the NHS the waiting list continues to grow, reaching historic record levels, which contrasts with Prime Minister Sunak’s promises. Serious problem for the Nigerian government to retain its doctors, since six out of ten intend to emigrate in search of better opportunities. Eurostat publishes the most frequent surgical interventions in Europe. Caesarean sections and cataracts, the most frequent interventions.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), covid infections skyrocket due to the drop in immunity. Spain has 100 million vaccines not adapted to the new strains. However, the public health commission recommends the use of adapted vaccines. Problem for Spain, since these vaccines not prepared for the new strains cannot be sold or donated. Spain takes 780 days to supply the new medications. Apart from the 629 days recognized in the WAIT report, from the time the drug is approved by the EMA until the price and public financing are approved in Spain, another five months must be added for approval by the autonomous communities and it would even be necessary to add delays due to approval by hospital commissions. Cosmetic surgery operations have increased rapidly in Spain in recent years.

In the field of Companies, at the international level, the Strasbourg plenary session supports the plasma law that favors Grifols. At the national level, private hospitals (ASPE) take the Sanitas and Generali alliance to court. Ferrer and Almirall, with very good prospects.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International health policy

  • Mexico
    • Abortion, not criminalized in Mexico. The decision of the Supreme Court to reject the law that criminalized abortion opens the door to its legalization, increasing the liberalization of abortion in Latin America (https://www.bmj.com/content/382/bmj.p2060)

National health policy

Companies

 

 

 

 

7 days in healthcare (September 4th-10th, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, in an editorial article, the Financial Times comments on the promise of anti-obesity drugs. Despite the clear benefits of the new drugs, there are unresolved issues: first, the limited knowledge of long-term effects; second, the drug is initially expensive. Private patients in the UK are expected to pay £300 a month; and, third, medications should be a complement rather than a substitute for general lifestyle measures. The first human organ created in an animal opens the door to manufacturing spare parts for people.

With regard to Global Health, the new director of Africa CDC publishes in Nature magazine the new policy guidelines of this body, aimed at addressing public health problems in Africa.

Regarding International Health Policy, it is confirmed that the latest versions of the vaccines are prepared for the new variants. Profound administrative reform of healthcare in Portugal, driven by the socialist government and, specifically, by the SNS administrator appointed about a year ago, Fernando Araujo. 31 management units (ULS, local health units) are created, which will be public business entities, with a board of directors, and a financing model in which money follows the patient. All hospitals will be assigned to one of these units. Strong criticism for the government’s secrecy in this reform, which has been carried out without prior consultation. The doctors’ order says that the reform will be a “complete disaster.” Despite what has been said, the reform has nothing to do with an implementation of the Spanish Alzira model in Portugal, but it is a public reform. Although some of the measures (business configuration of the management units, board of directors, new financing model in which money follows the patient) “sound good”, the truth is that a reform of this caliber carried out no longer without consensus political but without even public debate it is more than doubtful that it can be successful. He also questions the government’s idea of “getting out of the way” of healthcare by delegating changes to an “administrator.”

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), commitment of the Ministry of Health with the measures agreed with the pharmaceutical industry, with the participation even of President Sánchez, to ensure the investment of 8 billion euros. It seems that the conditions are to improve access to medicines; enhance R&D; increase industrial capacities and create supply chains for resilient drugs. Although it is logical and desirable for the government to be “business friendly” with companies in general and with pharmaceutical companies in particular, it is doubtful that such an explicit agreement is the best path for both parties. On the other hand, it must not be forgotten, in view of the government’s commitments, that we are in full discussion of European pharmaceutical policy. Certain relevant changes in the Community of Madrid: possibility of requesting any test from Primary Care and facility for non-EU doctors to work in Madrid. The Royal Decree approving the specialty of emergencies comes out in public hearing, something long awaited and promised, but no less controversial and debatable. The general director of Pharmacy, César Hernández, says that “we do not have a general problem of access to medicines”, which can also be controversial in certain environments.

In the field of Companies, at the international level, Novonordisk becomes the most valuable company in Europe according to market capitalization. Lilly tries to get ahead of Novordisk in the obesity market. Regarding national news, HM Hospitales expands its offer in Madrid with a new polyclinic in an area of intense growth such as Vadebebas.

Biomedicine

Global Health

  • New public health model in Africa. Article in Nature by Jean Kaseya, the new director of Africa CDC. 6 proposals: local manufacture of vaccines; improved tracking system; integrated health systems; laboratory network; emergency response design; robust national institutes of public health (https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-023-02749-5)
  • Cancers in young people (under 50) have risen by 80% in the last three decades, including breast, lung, stomach and colorectal cancers. (https://www.ft.com/content/b3140954-3cd0-4a3e-b554-92efa7ed7538). Original article in the BMJ: https://bmjoncology.bmj.com/content/2/1/e000049#

International Health Policy

  • Portugal
    • Deep administrative reform of healthcare, promoted by the socialist government. 31 management units (ULS, local health units) are created, which will be public business entities, with a board of directors, and a financing model in which money follows the patient. All hospitals will be assigned to one of these units. Strong criticism for the government’s secrecy in this reform, which has been carried out without prior consultation. The doctors’ order says that the reform will be a “complete disaster.” The reform is attributed to Fernando Araujo, the SNS administrator appointed by the government last year (https://www.portugal.gov.pt/pt/gc23/comunicacao/noticia?i=nova-organizacao-dos-cuidados-de-saude-conheca-a-grande-reforma-do-sns-para-2024)

National health policy

Companies

 

 

 

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

 

Summary

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

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

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

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

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

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

National health policy

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

Companies

7 days in healthcare (July 10th-16th, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, there is little doubt that Artificial Intelligence will revolutionize medicine: from diagnosis, to the robotic-AI combination for surgical procedures, rehabilitation aid, support in the fight against infectious diseases, development of new drugs, etc. There will be few areas of medicine that are not affected by the development of Artificial Intelligence.

As regards Global Health, The Lancet insists on the WHO-Europe notice on the need to decontaminate the air, since pollution contributes to the appearance of a large number of diseases and premature deaths. This time, 12 African countries are going to receive 18 million doses of the malaria vaccine. Now one can dream of the disappearance of malaria – that secular plague – from our planet.

Regarding International Health Policy, the American regulator approves the first contraceptive pill that will be dispatched (in pharmacies, supermarkets and online) without the need for a prescription. Although the “pill” could be used in the USA for 50 years, until now it was always under medical prescription. It is believed that this measure will contribute to reinforcing women’s reproductive rights, which were so affected by the US Supreme Court ruling that repealed the previous interpretation of the federal constitutional right to abortion, leaving this regulation in the hands of the states. Great controversy as a result of the WHO declaration of the possible carcinogenic effects of aspartame, a sugar substitute widely used in many beverages, including Coca-Cola. The WHO statement is not without controversy.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), to highlight the private health agreement in Madrid, with a rise of 15% in four years. The private provision employers address a decalogue of petitions to the new government. One of them is not addressed so much to the government as to health insurers, by requesting that relations between insurers and health centers be regulated in writing. The Coordinates Institute reveals the very different development of the right of choice in health in the national territory. On the other hand, the Minister of Health presents the new citizen folder. According to him “with one click you can access the medical history”. This of presenting a project of this magnitude a week before the elections cannot be taken very seriously.

In the field of Companies, internationally, Moderna has established itself in China. As for national news, Quirón announces a new hospital in Badajoz and Viamed the expansion of its hospital in Zaragoza. The funds, interested in radiodiagnostic companies, a sector so far very fragmented. ALSA, the bus company of Asturian origin, together with the Asturian health transport company Trasinsa, agree to launch a new health transport operator: SANIR.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

  • USA
    • The American regulator (FDA) approves the first contraceptive pill for sale without a prescription. It is called Opill and it will be available in pharmacies, supermarkets and online from 2024. The manufacturer is Perrigo, an American-Irish consortium. This pill can be used with a prescription for 50 years. The change is that, from now on, it is freely dispensed (https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/13/health/otc-birth-control-pill.html)

National health policy

Companies

 

7 days in healthcare (June, 19th-25th, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, ethical problems continue to be discussed as a consequence of the creation of embryos without eggs or sperm. Until now, an embryo required an egg and a sperm, but this new approach would allow, in hypothesis, to solve problems of infertility or pregnancy loss, but it is a matter to regulate very carefully. Two studies in Nature seem to show that the Y chromosome makes men more vulnerable to tumors.

With regard to Global Health, The Lancet focuses on the great threat of diabetes, since it is estimated that in 2050 there will be 1.3 billion diabetics, a disease related to obesity, diet, tobacco, alcohol and sedentary lifestyle. Inequalities in access to morphine are denounced, with the United States and Europe almost completely monopolizing its use. An important issue, since this drug has a relevant role in the treatment of pain and in palliative care.

Regarding International Health Policy, according to the weekly WHO report, covid is declining in both the number of cases and deaths in all WHO regions of the world. Only in the African region is there a slight increase in the number of deaths, with a decrease in the number of new cases. In the United States, the commercialization of meat grown in the laboratory is approved. One of the authorized establishments belongs to the Spanish philanthropist José Andrés. Also in the United States, not minor problems continue as a result of the annulment of the Roe v Wade ruling that transfers the authorization of abortion to the states. In the United Kingdom, the problems with the emergency services continue and a strike of resident doctors is called. New health insurance law in South Africa, which appears to represent progress towards universal coverage in that country.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), according to the WHO weekly bulletin, Spain is the country in Europe with the highest mortality from covid. The government and the communities agree to abolish the mandatory nature of masks in health centers and pharmacies. Ayuso, proclaimed President of the Community of Madrid, after the last elections. Absence of great news in the announcements of health measures for this legislature. As was already known, Spain is consolidating itself as a world power in clinical trials, an achievement no less.

In the field of Companies, internationally, Walmart (the largest supermarket chain in the USA) enters the primary care business, with 32 centers in 5 states. Walmart was already in healthcare, but it was with small clinics for minor care. Significant company purchases by Merck MSD and Lilly, which seems to confirm that M&A activity in pharmaceutical companies is reviving. In the Spanish national arena, ASEBIO announces an increase in investment in R&D by biotech companies in 2022.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

National health policy

Companies

 

 

 

7 days in healthcare (May 15th-21st, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, to point out certain warnings about the use of blood tests for the detection of cancer, an area with great growth, since in some cases there may be errors in diagnosis, over diagnosis and over treatment . Researchers are trying to improve Nuclear Resonance imaging, through fMRI, which will be able to detect brain activity on the millisecond scale. The WHO warns about the use of sweeteners for weight control and ChatGPT in health, without careful prior examination.

With regard to Global Health, The Lancet denounces in an editorial the continuation of the practice of the death penalty in some countries, but most fundamentally in China. The International Treaty on Pandemics, which may be one of the positive consequences of the covid, seems to be ready in May 2024.

Regarding International Health Policy, very interesting statements by the Director General of the WHO to The Economist magazine, following the lifting of the global alarm due to the covid. Trying to explain why the covid affected developed countries (such as the USA) in many cases more than developing countries, he comments that possibly a certain self sufficiency about the strength of their health systems and a concentration towards investments in specialized hospitals and high technology, in instead of public health, is at the origin of this situation. The crisis in the NHS continues, Starmer (Labor Party leader) says the system cannot be fixed without fixing the “fundamentals”. He seems to understand by “fundamentals” the need for reforms and not just more funding. EMA 2022 annual report, which greets that year as very positive due to the rapid development of new vaccines and new drugs.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), apart from the rise in the incidence of covid, possibly the most far-reaching news is the shortage of certain medicines in pharmacies. It seems that the causes can be multiple, but basically three: the dependence on certain raw materials that are manufactured in India and China; parallel exports due to the lower price of medicines in Spain compared to other European countries; and the very low price of some drugs that discourages their production. In Primary Care, the real problems far exceed the weekend promises to give more money, apparently already committed. In-depth reforms and increased funding is what Primary Care needs, after a deep negotiation and consensus. The PP of Asturias promises to end, if it wins, with the exclusivity of doctors in that region, apparently already the only one in Spain that rigorously applies this regulation. The project of the new Hospital Clinic (Barcelona) of more than 1,500 million surprises by its grandeur. It is to be assumed that such a large investment is fully justified and explained very well to the population.

In the field of Companies, at the international level, a large fine was imposed on the pharmaceutical chain Walgreens in San Francisco for promoting the use of opiates. In Spain, the construction of a new hospital in Alicante by IMED stands out (is there a real boom in new private hospitals?); the sale to a German fund of 26% of ESTEVE; and, as unusual, the denunciation by the hospital employer ASPE of the agreement between Sanitas and Generali. It seems that the discrepancy is that Sanitas extends the advantageous rates that it had negotiated with suppliers, which are more favorable than those of Generali, to Generali customers in this way.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

  • China
    • What happened in China after the abandonment of the covid zero policy and the massive infection of omicron? The official figures for deaths are 87,475 between February 24 and March 16, 2023. Other estimates speak of between 1-1.5 million deaths. Surely the reality is somewhere in between (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2804631)

National health policy

Companies

 

 

7 days in healthcare (March 27th-April 2nd, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, the latest issue of The Lancet dedicates a special article and an editorial to chronic pain, which affects millions of people daily; For its part, the New England Journal of Medicine publishes a review and an editorial on Artificial Intelligence in medicine. It seems that humanity will soon break historical records in terms of longevity. It is also worth highlighting the advances that are being announced in regenerative medicine (xenotransplant, 3D organ printing and stem cells).

With regard to Global Health, the most important thing is the WHO’s warning to governments in dedicating efforts to health professionals, since many of them are close to retirement and the needs are increasing for many reasons.

Regarding International Health Policy, in the United States, the FDA authorizes the free sale of Narcan, a nasal spray against opioid overdose, which represents life or death for many people. In the United Kingdom, the popularity of the NHS is the lowest it has been for 40 years, when this type of study began.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), a new replacement in the Ministry of Health. Some consider that this Ministry has become the electoral launching pad for its incumbents (Illa, for Catalonia; Darias, for Las Palmas, and, apparently, Miñones, for Galicia). This approach, together with the short duration of the ministers, is one of the causes that contribute to the loss of prestige, leadership and role of the Ministry of Health, which has a policy of contingency management, but without a true project of transformation of the system, to propose to the different agents. The Minister of Health of Catalonia seems to have a plan to reinforce and retain professionals, something very necessary. I hope this plan works. The EMA has given the green light to the Spanish vaccine against the HIPRA covid, although only as a booster dose to the mRNA vaccines. Important social debate around surrogacy, as a result of the use of this procedure by a “celebrity”. Very different positions on the subject. Perhaps the most correct approach, as a quoted writer does, is to see who this procedure harms, if the parents, the unborn child, or the woman who lends her uterus. If the conclusion is that no one has been harmed, the most reasonable thing to do would be to approve this practice in our country, as it is in so many others.

In the field of Companies, internationally, BioNTech’s sales forecasts plummet, as a result of the lower demand for covid vaccines. At the national level, perhaps the most far-reaching news is the purchase by Viamed (Macquarie) of the Fátima hospital in Seville, after stiff competition with many other interested parties, including Vithas and Sanitas. Hospitales Parque (CASER) is set to grow at the rate of one hospital per year in the next three years.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

  • COVID
    • Data from Gisaid, the global repository of covid genomic data, increases the chances of discovering the origin of covid. Three years into the pandemic, it is still not certain whether the virus arose accidentally from a laboratory or was transmitted through an animal host (https://www.ft.com/content/f0733683-cb6d-4578-915a-aa60d7ba4c1d)

National Health Policy

Companies

7 days in healthcare (January 16th-22nd, 2023)

 

Summary

From the point of view of Biomedicine, it is worth highlighting, as the Science article does, the celebration of a decade of CRISPR gene editing technology, whose impact on medicine is only just beginning. Janssen withdraws from the HIV vaccine, a new failure in the attempt to discover a vaccine against this disease. Moderna, on the other hand, presents positive results with a vaccine against bronchiolitis. A new report points to wastewater analysis as fundamental to monitoring threats from a wide variety of diseases, not just covid.

As regards Global Health, The Lancet in an editorial underlines the importance of the One Health concept, this idea of the interdependence between human, animal and ecosystem health. The Economist publishes an editorial and an article on the problems of health systems that are in crisis everywhere in the post-covid era (even in Switzerland!), which is making mortality in Europe have been in the last year 10% higher than in a normal year.

Regarding International Health Policy, in the USA the opponents of abortion are manifested. Problems continue in the NHS, with Sajid Javid, former health secretary, proposing something as unusual in the UK as a co-pay in Primary Care and Emergency. He says an overly religious view of the NHS prevents reforms. Important debate and tensions about the price of medicines in the European continent (UK and EU) in relation to prices in the USA. Pharmaceutical companies, very reluctant to price controls, when they are also in the USA with the application of the Inflation Act, which gradually imposes a negotiation of the price of medicines between the Medicare Administration and pharmaceutical companies.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the incidence of covid continues to drop. Medical conflicts extend to various autonomous communities (Madrid, Catalonia, Navarra, etc.). The agreement in Aragon should be highlighted, which indicates that it is possible to reach agreements, possibly when they are well negotiated. The Ministry, completely absent from this problem. As for the public system, the statements by Lasquetty, Madrid’s Treasury Councilor, who points to “my own place” as one of the great rigidities of the public system, are very interesting. Conflict also in private health between doctors and insurers, raised in Seville. Abortion enters the national debate, following the picturesque proposals of Vox in Castilla y León, never applied. The Constitutional Court opens its new session with the debate on the recourse to the Law of deadlines presented in its day by the PP. The CIS survey presents health as the second problem that worries the Spanish.

In the field of Companies, internationally, Pfizer’s initiative to sell medicines at cost prices in 45 poor countries must be highlighted. At the national level, the launch by DKV of an insurance product that allows choosing a family doctor is notable. In a context in which insurers actually forget about Primary Care, this is something that deserves to be highlighted.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

National Health Policy

Companies

7 days in healthcare (November 21st-27th, 2022)

 

Summary

Most notably from the Biomedicine standpoint, the FDA is approving a drug that could delay the onset of type 1 diabetes, the devastating disease that often occurs in adolescents. Also the preclinical study that seems to foreshadow a universal flu vaccine. Likewise, the minirobot designed by Apple capable of taking medicines to the brain, that organ until now practically inaccessible to drugs.

With regard to Global Health, the COP27 summit is considered in an article in The Lancet a “collective failure”, given the lack of agreement on the lower use of fossil fuels. We must also note the race for the production of vaccines in several African countries.

Regarding International Health Policy, mortality from covid remains high and is very worrying in some countries, mainly Japan, Brazil, India, China, the Russian Federation, South Korea and Spain. The covid-zero policy is generating problems and discontent in a country where public demonstrations are as controlled as in China. The nurses’ strike in the United Kingdom is a historic event in that country, which will undoubtedly will have consequences.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), mortality from covid remains high in Spain (260 cases in the last week). At this time Spain has 0.6 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, a fairly high mortality, although lower than other European countries, such as France, Greece, Denmark, Norway, Croatia, Estonia and Luxembourg, according to WHO data. The waiting lists for June 30 are published by the Ministry of Health. A real national problem and a serious delegitimization of the public system, which some minimize. The strike of Primary Care doctors continues in Madrid, while the conflict threatens to spread to other autonomous communities. The rise in the electricity bill threatens the profitability of private hospitals, according to ASPE.

In the field of Companies, at the international level, Amazon is making a new foray into healthcare, this time with the “Amazon Clinic” platform, a telemedicine service that will be extended to 32 American states and offers virtual care for 20 clinical conditions. At the national level, news at HM Hospitales, with the new hospital in Rivas; in Recoletas, which extends to Salamanca; and, in Sanitas, which intends to create its own clinical analysis laboratory.

Biomedicine

Global Health

International Health Policy

National health policy

Companies

  • International News
    • Amazon makes a new attempt at healthcare. The offers of the big technological platforms are diversified: Apple tries to monitor through the iPhone; Microsoft, offers computer services to companies; Alphabet (Google), relies on wearables. Amazon launches the most ambitious offer, with “Amazon Clinic”, an online service that will operate in 32 American states and that offers virtual care for 20 clinical conditions, from acne to allergies (https://www.economist.com/ business/2022/11/20/amazon-makes-a-new-push-into-health-care)
    • The big pharma aims for 50,000 million dollars in medicines against obesity, a disease that affects 650 million people in the world, as demand grows. Lilly will submit a drug for authorization (https://www.ft.com/content/f28e8ca1-87a7-4c14-8b05-0ead0e831c0f)