Press review

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Spanish regulator recalls additional batches of valsartan-based drugs

MADRID, 24 Aug (APM) - Spain’s drug regulator AEMPS has recalled additional batches of valsartan-based drugs manufactured by Chinese pharma Zhejiang Tianyu Pharmaceuticals, it was widely reported on Sunday.
Daily La Razón reported that a small amount of a contaminant which is considered to be carcinogenic had been detected in these drugs . (APMHE 59376)
AEMPS has offered details of the recall in a statement which also noted that on 5 July all valsartan-based drugs sold in Spain began to be inspected due to a previous report of the same contaminant in the product of another Chinese firm, Zhejiang Huahai.
The regulator has recommended that patients treated with these medicines do not stop treatment and instead visit their physician to obtain a prescription for an alternative treatment, daily El Mundo reported.
Medical journal Diario Médico included a link to the list of all the affected batches detected in Spain. On Tuesday, Redacción Médica reported that the European Medicines Agency has banned Zhejiang Tianyu from producing valsartan drugs for Europe.
ABC, La Vanguardia, El País, Público, EFE and Europa Press agencies, financial Cinco Días, medical journals Gaceta Médica, Acta Sanitaria and a number of regional dailies also carried the story. Even sports newspaper AS reported on the recall in its Sunday edition.

Bayer’s experienced leader to navigate through legal threat

Bayer is counting on its CEO’s experience to help the firm navigate through the legal defence of Monsanto’s herbicide glyphosate, financial Cinco Días reported on Saturday. (APMHE 59362)
When Bayer acquired U.S. Monsanto, the price it would have to pay in the form of upcoming lawsuits could not be anticipated, according to the paper.
An experienced leader is needed to help the company overcome the situation, which has taken Bayer’s share prices down by a steep 12.3%. The drop takes the price back to 2001, one of the worst moments in the firm’s history, when the withdrawal of its cholesterol-lowering Lipobay caused €600 million in losses.
“Someone who knows the company from the inside, and has known it for a long time, will be needed to turn this situation round. No-one better than its CEO”. Werner Baumann joined the company when he was 26 years old and has worked in the firm ever since, the financial said.
Cinco Días quoted Bayer’s supervisory board chairman Werner Wenning as saying: “[Baumann] may have a decision already made in his mind, but he will always hear what the workforce have to say”.
It also quoted a company statement published when he was appointed CEO as saying: “In Werner, Bayer has a strong, experienced executive who comes from inside the organisation and, as a member of the board, has contributed substantially to the company's reinforcement and realignment”.

No-deal Brexit to cause medicines shortage

Increased bureaucracy for companies, the need for specific measures to avoid medicines shortages and increased costs for travelling and the use of credit cards are some of the consequences of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit according to a report by the UK government, daily ABC reported on Thursday. (APMHE 59420)
Even though ministers participating in the negotiations assure their priority is to make a deal, they have warned that a number of short-term consequences will have to be addressed should the scenario be a no-deal Brexit, the newspaper reported.
In an unrelated Thursday story, daily 20 Minutos reported that UK hospitals will be in danger of drug shortages in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to a letter from the CEO of NHS Providers to Simon Stevens, head of NHS England. The letter was leaked to The Times.
The letter said that a national contingency plan is needed to avoid this risk rather than “expecting trusts to develop contingency plans individually, in a vacuum, and having to reinvent the wheel 229 times”, the newspaper reported.

Antibiotics company linked to controversial financer revived

An antibiotics company sold by Mario Conde, a well-known Spanish financier who spent years in prison following embezzlement at Banesto bank, has been revived.
Conde's sale of the company to Merck Sharp & Dohme had provided him and his partner Juan Abelló with enough cash to land Banesto in 1983, financial Cinco Días reported on Wednesday.
The company, renamed ADL Bionatur, will develop antibiotics, vitamins and vaccines, together with other fermentation-based products.
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