Press review

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Majority of drugs sold in Europe and U.S. contain ingredients made in China, India, says Spanish newspaper

Country : China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Spain, U.S., Switzerland

Keywords :
MADRID, 20 July (APM) - On Wednesday, daily La Razón on Wednesday reported that about 80% of drugs solid in Europe and the U.S. contain ingredients made in China or India.
The recent contamination of valsartan-containing medicines manufactured in China has contributed to the impression that drug ingredients made in some Asian countries may not be safe. (APMHE 58822)
However, this is the current situation in a globalised economy, with 80% of compounds included in medicines used in Europe and the U.S. coming from those two countries, according to data provided by the economics and trade office of the Spanish embassy in Shanghai and Spain’s ICEX Index of Exports, the newspaper reported.
The Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA) confirmed this figure, La Razón noted.
"This does not mean they are low-cost" [or low-quality], unlike other products manufactured in Asia, sources from the pharmaceutical industry told the newspaper.
Using ingredients provided by companies in these countries is quite common. Besides, quality controls by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency reassure on the safety of the final product, these sources added.
China is one of the five most relevant pharmaceutical partners to EU firms, according to a report by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).
Companies out of China increasingly see the country as an opportunity, establishing joint ventures with national firms.
The opening of R&D and manufacturing premises in Shanghai by Novartis is an example of this trend. Pfizer launched a $300-million venture with Chinese manufacturer Zhejiang Hisun Pharma in 2012. Both have been certified for good-manufacturing practices compliance, La Razón noted. (APMHE 49883, 55573)

Each pharma job generates four indirect positions in Spain

The pharmaceutical industry has created 200,000 jobs in Spain, even though it has just 40,000 employees, because it generates four indirect positions for each member of staff, medical journals Redacción Médica, Acta Sanitaria and IM Médico Hospitalario reported on Thursday.
Spain is the fifth European country in terms of jobs linked to pharma. First is Germany, then France, Italy and Switzerland. Data provided by branded pharma lobby Farmaindustria show that 59% of pharma jobs require high qualifications, Redacción Médica noted.
Pharmaceutical manufactures of the 350 firms operating in Spain have generated 15 billion euros, accounting for 24% of the country’s high-tech, the journal added.
Acta Sanitaria quoted a statement from Farmaindustria as saying that for each €1,000 of drug production in Spain, €2,300 are generated in other industries.
The statement also highlighted pharma’s R&D spend, which grew to €1.14 billion in 2017, 5.7% higher than the previous year, Acta Sanitara noted.
On Friday, financial El Economista and Servimedia agency carry the story, too.

Big data, an asset in China’s healthcare industries

Investors at the annual tech meeting RISE in Hong Kong heard how China is the global leader in high-tech in healthcare, with big data defined as a national priority by the government, financial Cinco Días reported on Thursday.
According to Cinco Días, China is building data processing centres in a number of regions to hold medical registries, births, deceases, insurance filings and other related information.
The most ambitious of China’s efforts is the focus on precision medicine, adapting treatments to patients’ genetic profiles. In 2016, the Chinese government devoted a $9 billion fund to sequence and analyse genetic information, the newspaper added.
A 1.4 billion population and a government willing to support data circulation give Chinese healthcare industries an advantage. Even for algorithms developed in Silicon Valley, the most fruitful apps could come from the other side of the Pacific ocean, Cinco Días reported.

Immunotherapies are future of cancer care - specialist

Ana Lluch, head of haematology and oncology services at the Valencia Clinic Hospital, told daily El País, published on Wednesday, that properly diagnosing cancer is more important than the actual treatment, and that immunotherapies are the most significant of the recent findings in the field.
According to Lluch, immunotherapies are extremely important. In melanoma, for instance, there were no effective treatments besides chemotherapy previously. These are the most advanced cancer treatments, she said.
Lluch added that lung cancer used to be diagnosed in advanced stages, with extremely poor prognosis. “Today, we cannot cure lung cancer, but we have patients who survive many years thanks to immunotherapy. However, we need specific diagnoses. The tumour must have specific features which make it respond to immune stimulus,” she told El País.
Something similar can be said of breast cancer, she added.

EU report warns of potential problems in pharma in ‘no-deal’ Brexit

An EU team has worked on a document including 68 warnings for potential problems in a ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario, including one for medicines, daily El País reports on Friday. (APMHE 58983)
The industries where the impact of that situation will be bigger include aviation, customs, commerce, pharma, professional accreditations and personal data, the daily notes.
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