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 (November 27th-December 3rd, 2023)



From the point of view of Biomedicine, the New England Journal of Medicine begins a series on the usefulness of wearable technology, the set of devices or instruments that are worn and transmit information about health, which could be useful in monitoring , diagnosis and treatment of various diseases or clinical situations. There is every impression that this technology will be part of the future and what the NEJM intends is to clarify its usefulness and indications in various diseases and specialties, starting with diabetes. Regarding CAR-T therapies, until now used in hematological processes, it is envisioned that they could also be useful in solid tumors.

Regarding Global Health, great prominence of the issue of health in the COP28 meeting, from two perspectives: the reduction of CO2 emissions, which can be harmful to health; and the emissions from the health system itself, which is a major polluter. It is confirmed in a new and extensive study carried out in Australia that the younger generations have worse mental health.

Regarding International Health Policy, in the United States an executive order by President Biden on AI, not specifically directed at the health sector, will, however, have an impact on this sector and the Ministry of Health is already preparing specific regulations. In China, it seems to be ruled out that the increase in respiratory infections is due to a new virus, but rather to common bacteria and viruses. The United Kingdom’s genetic database, UK Biobank, is about to reveal results, which seem to have an impact on new therapies. In France the price of a pack of tobacco is rising, despite this country’s failures in the fight against smoking. The new conservative government of New Zealand annuls the 2022 law, which prohibited the sale of tobacco from 2027. Austria launches a new health reform, which reinforces the digital route as access to the health system. Concern of several health groups in Argentina, given the health announcements of the new president-elect, Javier Milei.

If we talk about National Health Policy (Spain), the government of the Generalitat of Catalonia reactivates the results center, a model initiative in terms of transparency in the health sector, which had been largely paralyzed since the “procés”. All the data until 2022 has already been presented. Biosim demands new forms of purchasing and management adapted to biosimilars. Problems in the last research institute recognized by the Carlos III Health Institute, that of Asturias. Strong tensions for months between the management of ISPA (the Health Research Institute of the Principality of Asturias) and FINBA, a Foundation with a majority of private companies, which seeks to exercise control over ISPA. Unusual proposal from the Catalan medical colleges, which aims to introduce a “quota” for non-Catalans who aspire to study medicine in Catalonia.

In the field of Companies, on an international level, AstraZeneca is allying itself with AI Biologics. The linking of pharmaceutical companies with AI companies seems to be a general trend. At the national level, Vivanta confirms an ERE.


Global Health

International health policy

National health policy





7 days in healthcare (1st-7th August 2022)




From the point of view of biomedicine, to highlight the use of monoclonal antibodies to combat malaria; also the return to life of cells and tissues in dead pigs, which may be important in transplants; and, the fact that the genomic map of chronic lymphatic leukemia has been completed, which, sooner or later, will have consequences in the treatment of this disease.

As far as Global Health is concerned, the poor preparation of most countries in the face of the increasingly frequent heat waves is confirmed, according to The Lancet.

As for international health policy, the United States declares monkeypox a public health emergency, the Administration covering itself up against certain accusations of slowness in dealing with this problem; global decline in the number of covid cases, particularly in Europe. Problems continue in the United States due to restrictions on abortion. Three news to highlight in the United States: the number of uninsured reaches the record low figure of 8%; the American Democrats have a majority in Congress within reach to approve the law that tries to reduce the price of medicines, by way of allowing Medicare to negotiate prices; and, finally, for the first time in decades, health spending in the United States fell in the first quarter of 2022, although it is doubtful that this will continue.

If we talk about national health policy (Spain), monkeypox continues with a very high number of infected people and a shortage of vaccines; large drop in the incidence of covid. Great and difficult to justify delay in the report commissioned by the Ministry of Health from experts on the management of the covid pandemic. Surely there will be more than technical analysis problems in the cause of this delay. The doctors of the private health, threaten with the copayment, before what they consider low rates of the insurers.

In the field of companies, Pfizer continues with its aggressive policy of buying companies, while the growth of Quirónsalud, which already exceeds 2 billion euros in turnover, should be highlighted.


Global Health

International health policy

National health policy




7 days in healthcare (March 21-27, 2022)



From the point of view of biomedicine, the progress in the treatment of breast cancer should be highlighted, according to the article published by the NEJM, with a brake of around 80% of this advanced cancer and makes it disappear in 16%. .

As far as Global Health is concerned, there are undiagnosed cases of tuberculosis (the missing tuberculosis), a disease that continues to have 10 million new cases a year and causes 1.5 million deaths. The Lancet report on what needs to be done to meet target 3.4 of (on non-communicable diseases) of the Sustainable Development Goals. Inequality in covid vaccination and its possible ways to solve it are the subject of an analysis by the NEJM. Concern for the health of the 3.5 million refugees from Ukraine. The low mortality of covid in Africa, a continent that was thought could be devastated by this disease, remains a mystery.

As for international health policy, the debate continues on the covid-zero policy in China, which has achieved great results so far (both in terms of mortality and economics), but it is not known if it will be able to continue with the variant “omicron”. The WHO judges the lifting of COVID measures in Europe too premature, considering that cases are growing, among other countries, in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Greece, France, Italy and Germany.

If we talk about national health policy (Spain), we are witnessing a relaxation of the measures against covid, despite its upward trend in recent days. Arrival of Paxlovid, Pfizer’s treatment for severe cases of covid. The important report published by the Catalan Society of Health Management, with an exceptional team led by Jordi Varela, on the forms of contracting health services from the point of view of value, is very noteworthy. The deans of Medicine react to the Ministry’s announcement of the increase in the “numerus clausus” in medicine by 10%.

In the field of companies, it is worth highlighting the evolution of the purchase of the fertility company IVI, the largest operation carried out by private equity companies in healthcare in Spain and with a company valuation of around 2,500 million euros.








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)

7 days in healthcare (6-12 December, 2021)




At the international level, the Israeli study published in the New England Journal of Medicine stands out, which showed, in a large sample of cases, a 90% decrease in mortality with the third dose. Also that the “omicron” variant extends to 57 countries. In the United Kingdom, plan B is activated, given the growth of the pandemic: teleworking, masks and COVID passport. The COVID pandemic is found to have exacerbated social inequalities globally.

Regarding national news, to highlight the accelerated growth of the pandemic, with figures that are already very worrying, although lower than other European countries. The government seems to trust everything to vaccines. Six communities are already at high risk. The Ministry advances a new strategy against smoking. COVID vaccination begins for children between 5 and 11 years old.

As for companies, many of them cancel Christmas celebrations, given the advance of the pandemic.


  • An Israeli study of 758,118 people who had received a third dose, after a full course with two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, showed that mortality was 90% lower than that of participants who had not received the third dose (NEJM , 8 Dec 21)
  • Afghanistan: collapse of the health system, WHO predicts that one million children will die of starvation this winter (BMJ, Dec 8, 21)
  • Health played a leading role in the COP26 climate conference (BMJ, Dec 7 21)
  • The “omicron” variant extends to 57 countries (The Guardian, 9 Dec 21)
  • Johnson activates plan B: teleworking, masks and COVID passports (The Guardian, 8 Dec 21)
  • COVID: More than 200 million Americans fully vaccinated (NYT, Dec 8, 219
  • The ‘omicron’ variant may produce 75,000 deaths by the end of April in the UK (The Guardian, Dec 11 21)
  • The COVID pandemic has exacerbated global inequalities, according to the “Global Inequality Report 2022” (Le Monde, 7 Dec 21)
  • Public Health expert Karl Lauterbach appointed Minister of Health in Germany (FT, Dec 6 21)
  • According to an article in the New York Times, the number of hospitalizations is now a better indicator of the evolution of COVID than the number of cases (NYT, Dec 11 21)
  • Fauci says that the “omicron” variant is more contagious but less serious (La Vanguardia, 7 Dec 21)


  • Spain exceeds 320 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days (Germany, 929; United Kingdom, 963; France, 875; Italy, 331; Portugal, 466; United States, 464; Austria, 1,215; Belgium, 2,082) ( Expansion, 9 Dec 21)
  • Hard headline of La Razón: “Europe faces «omicron» and Spain does nothing”. It refers to measures from the central government, which seems to trust everything to vaccination. The article presents the measures in the United Kingdom (telework, mask and covid passport); Germany (severe restrictions on the unvaccinated); France (closing of nightclubs from December 10); Italy (closing of events for unvaccinated); Austria (confinement of the entire population); Denmark (closure of nightlife venues); Ireland (closing of discos and shows); Sweden (vaccination certificate): Holland (closing of all non-essential shops after 5:00 p.m.) (La Razón, 10 Dec 21)
  • Six communities are already at high risk, according to the new health traffic light (, Dec 11, 21)
  • The new Strategy of the Ministry of Health against tobacco is presented: more taxes, more smoke-free spaces and less advertising (El País, Dec 8, 2021)
  • Spain approves childhood vaccination and will begin vaccination of children between 5 and 11 years old on December 15 (El País, 7 Dec 21)
  • Different vaccination strategies for children by communities: vaccination courses, hospitals and health centers or schools (El País, 10 Dec 21)
  • The intensivists, worried. In three weeks the number of admissions to ICU has tripled (El Periódico de España, Dec 12 21)
  • The birth rate in Spain falls by 5.4% in 2020 (PlantaDoce, Dec 9 21)


  • Companies cancel Christmas dinners and events and ask their staff to be prudent (El Confidencial, Dec 12 21)
  • Unilabs, until now from the Apax fund, acquired by the Danish family group A.P Moller Holding (Unilabs press release, 2 Dec 21)
  • Centene can sell its international businesses, in Spain Ribera (Forbes, Dec 10 21)
  • The alliance with Moderna bears fruit: Rovi enters the IBEX, instead of Viscofán (Valencia Plaza, 9 Dec 21)
  • Vivanta focuses its activity on dental to continue growing (PlantaDoce, 3 Dec 21)
  • Quirónsalud consolidates in Latin America (ConSalud, Dec 10 21)
  • The San Juan de Dios Hospital closes in Burgos (Medical Writing, Dec 10 21)
  • Ubikare, the healthcare start-up owned by Mutua, arrives in Madrid (10 Dec 219
  • Fertility moves more than 4,000 million in corporate operations (El Economista, Dec 11 21)
  • Otsu fuels its male sexual health business: ten new openings in 2022 (PlantaDoce, 9 Dec 21)