Press review

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Spanish pharma lobby to support renewal of agreement to limit drug expenditure

Country : Canada, Israel, Spain

Keywords :
MADRID, Dec 15 (APM) - The general assembly of Spanish branded pharma lobby group Farmaindustria decided on Thursday to support the renewal of its agreement with the government to link the drug spend to economic output, medical journal Diario Médico and financial El Economista report on Friday.
Speaking at the Spanish senate two days previously, finance minister Cristóbal Montoro said “the agreement is functioning quite well in terms of efficacy”, El Economista reports.
The agreement is set to help the country reach its deficit goal. Should Spain’s drug expenditure grow more than domestic gross product (DGP), pharma companies included in Farmaindustria would have to compensate the government. If the drug expenditure grows less than GDP, the industry may or may not get tax exemptions or other incentives by the government, though these are not mandatory under the agreement, El Economista notes.
There was some controversy when representatives of autonomous regions complained that the ministry of finance is trying to force them to sign the agreement, the financial says. (APMHE 55832)

Teva to axe 14,000 jobs in two years

Israeli pharma Teva has announced it will reduce its workforce by 25% over the next two years, cutting 14,000 jobs globally, daily El País, financial Expansión, Cinco Días and El Economista report on Friday. (APMHE 56052)
The announcement triggered an immediate response by Israel’s biggest trade union Histadrut, which has called for a general strike on Sunday, the first working day of the week in the country, El País reports.
Cinco Días notes that Teva has 960 employees in Spain, 460 of them in a manufacturing plant in Zaragoza and 500 others in sales and administrative teams. The impact of the adjustment plan on these workers is not yet known, the financial says.

Polio vaccination, a pharma success story

Daily ABC carried a story about polio vaccination on Monday, as part of a series entitled ‘the value of medicines’.
“The case of poliomyelitis illustrates how when the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare authorities, international organisations and a number of private and public institutions join forces, extremely relevant advances to fight or control diseases can occur,” ABC said.
The disease is practically eradicated; the latest diagnosis in Spain dates back to 1988, the newspaper added.

Spanish government questioned on non-reimbursement of hormone treatment

Representatives of the liberal Ciudadanos (Citizens) party have asked the government why hormone treatment Reandron has been excluded from the list of publicly funded drugs, financial El Economista reports on Friday.
Ciudadanos says the government made the move following unsuccessful pricing talks with the manufacturer. Without an alternative drug available in Spain containing the same active principle, the party said the government must restart talks with the manufacturer, the financial says.

Experimental drug shows promise in Huntington’s disease

An experimental drug could slow the progression of Huntington’s disease, according to a Phase I clinical trial by researchers at the University College London, daily La Razón and El Periódico reported on Tuesday.
La Razón quoted Ruth Blanco, president of patients’ association ACHE Corea Huntington, as saying the trial has been met with hope and expectation. However, Blanco cautioned that further studies will be needed to fully ensure this is an efficient and safe treatment. Phase II results are expected in September 2019, the newspaper reported.
The drug, known as Ionis-Httrx, was administered to 46 patients, El Periódico said.

Metformin may fight drug resistance in breast cancer

According to a new study published in PLOS One, diabetes drug metformin may be effective in the inhibition of multidrug-resistant breast cancer, financial El Economista reported on Wednesday.
A research team from Saskatchewan University in Canada found the drug can inhibit the proliferation of doxorubicin-resistant breast cancer cells. When previously treated with metformin, the cells were less prone to develop drug resistance, the financial reported.
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