Press review

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Ferrer's Jordi Martí elected chair of Spanish biotech association

MADRID, Dec 22 (APM) - Jordi Martí from Ferrer laboratories has been elected chair of Spanish biotech association Asebio, financial El Economista and a number of medical journals reported on Thursday and Friday.
This is the first time a representative of Ferrer has been appointed chair. However, it is Martí’s second term as chair as he held the position previously when he was head of Celgene’s Spanish operations, the financial noted.
Other companies represented on the board are Oryzon Genomics, PharmaMar, Merck, AbbVie and Biopolis.
Ferrer’s candidacy included strategies such as influencing the Spanish government into changing current regulations to boost biotech and companies’ growth, private and public funding of R&D, El Economista added.

European Court of Justice ruling favours pharma’s VAT calculation

In a case about a dispute over 2011’s VAT calculation between tax authorities in the German region of Bringen-Alzey and Boehringer Ingelheim, the European Court of Justice has favoured the latter, medical journal Acta Sanitaria reports on Friday.
The ruling has set a precedent over how pharmaceutical companies should calculate VAT when rebates are granted to private health insurers or public health providers. From now on, rebates will be considered the same for VAT purposes regardless of the distribution chain, the journal notes.
German tax authorities do not allow pharma to calculate VAT based on rebates when they were granted to private health insurers, Acta Sanitaria reports.

Uriach launches antihistamine Rupafin in Japan

Barcelona-based Uriach has started selling its second-generation antihistamine Rupafin (rupatadine) in Japan, daily La Vanguardia reported on Thursday.
Rupafin is approved in allergic rhinitis, urticarial and pruritus. It was approved in Japan in September. All of the product sold in the country will be manufactured at is two plants in Catalonia region, where a four-million euros investment has been made to increase production capacity, the journal added.

Arthritis drug may improve melanoma treatment

Researchers from East Anglia University in the UK have found that treatments for advanced melanoma are more effictive when combined with leflunomide, a drug used in rheumatoid arthritis, financial El Economista reports on Friday.
An animal study published in Oncotarget magazine suggested the drug combination almost stopped completely the growth of melanoma cells. The authors said that melanoma is treatable when detected at early stages, but once it has disseminated it is harder to control and is frequently drug-resistant, the financial adds.

Side effects of most widely used drugs

On Sunday, daily 20 Minutos carried a lengthy story about the side effects of most commonly-used drugs.
The newspaper followed warnings by the U.S. department of health regarding interactions between drugs, supplements and even food.
20 Minutos quoted Encarnación García, from the Spanish centre of drugs information (CIM) as saying each patient is different and the management of drugs’ side effects should always follow a recommendations from doctors or pharmacists.
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