Press review

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Pharma concerns over Catalonia conflict on the rise

MADRID, Oct 27 (APM) - Humberto Arnés, president of Spanish pharma branded lobby group Farmaindustria, has expressed his concerns regarding the impact of the Catalonia conflict on economic growth, it was widely reported on Wednesday.
Speaking at a journalists seminar organised by the group on Tuesday, Arnés and other Farmaindustria representatives addressed the impact of Brexit on the industry, the benefits of investing in innovative therapies and current challenges for the Spanish national health system, daily ABC reported.
Financial El Economista quoted Arnés as saying: “If the whole country is worried [about the situation in Catalonia], how could [pharma] executives not be. It is no news that forecasts of a drop in gross national product are worrisome”.
Financial Expansión noted that, in spite of the situation, only Oryzon and generics firm Kern have decided to move out of the region. (APMHE 55010)
Catalonia is key for pharma operations in Spain, accounting for 45% of the country’s pharmaceuticals-based production, exports and employment. International companies with subsidiaries in Barcelona include Novartis, Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim, Expansión added.
Dailies La Razón, El Periódico, El Diario, El Español, financial Cinco Días, medical journals Acta Sanitaria and Redacción Médica also carried the story.

Ministry plans to improve access, revise drug prices

Senior health ministry official Encarnación Cruz Martos has disclosed plans to speed up reimbursement procedures, including by eliminating price talks, medical journal Acta Sanitaria reported on Saturday. (APMHE 54876)
Speaking at the opening of a master class on healthcare assessment at Carlos III University in Madrid, Cruz said that besides abolishing pricing talks, she will modify current procedures for the review of drug prices. According to Cruz, these are too simple and need to be based on the assessment of real world data showing clinical impact of medicines, the journal reported.
She added that the ministry's pricing commission will make the prices of new indications public to increase transparency, as long as international confidentiality agreements are not violated in the process, the journal said.

Agreement on nurse prescribing

An agreement between nurses and physicians’ associations will allow nurses to prescribe a limited number of drugs in Spain, ending a decade-long conflict as both groups sealed their understanding in the presence of health minister Dolors Montserrat, it was widely reported on Wednesday.
According to El País, which carried the story on Thursday, nurses’ representatives have referred to this agreement as a very important step towards ending the regulatory uncertainty created by a decree approved by the government two years ago.
The decree was almost immediately modified to forbid nurses from taking decisions on drugs they use in their daily duties, and damaged both patients and the healthcare system, a statement said.
La Razón carried the headline: “Nurses prescription war ends”.
Dailies ABC, El Periódico, 20 Minutos, the Spanish edition of the Huffington Post and medical journal Redacción Médica also carried the story.

Pfizer withdraws Cytotec in France

Pfizer will stop selling labour-inducing drug Cytotec (misoprostol) in France after regulator ANSM warned about side effects for both mothers and newborns, daily El Mundo reported on Saturday.
ANSM has warned Cytotec can increase the risk of womb rupture, haemorrhage and irregular heart rate, the newspaper reported.
Despite ANSM’s past warnings, the drug has been used to induce labour and as an abortion pill, El Mundo noted.

Old drug shows promise in pulmonary hypertension

According to a new study published in Science Translational Medicine, dichloroacetate, an old drug, can decrease blood pressure in the lungs of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension, improving their ability to walk without significant side effects, daily ABC reported on Thursday.
The daily quoted lead investigator Evangelos Michelakis as saying: “This is the first time that a drug targeting mitochondria is shown to be effective in patients with PAH”.

Grifols denies talks on sponsoring Barça soccer club

On Friday, sports newspapers As and Sport report that Barcelona-based blood derivatives specialist Grifols might add its name to Barça’s Camp Nou stadium with a 400 million-euro sponsorship.
However, on the same day daily El Periódico and sports newspaper Marca quote a company statement as denying plans to sponsor the famous stadium.
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