Press review

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Spanish newspaper's praise pharma for advancing medical science

MADRID, 21 Dec (APM) - El País, the leading newspaper by number of readers, included a piece in its Thursday edition about pharma’s contribution to the improvement of people’s health, quality of life and countries’ economies.
Under the banner 'Content provided by [Spanish branded lobby group] Farmaindustria’, El País carried a story with headline: “The drugs which are changing medicine”. Improving people’s health and quality of life are the reasons for the existence of all drugs, “particularly of innovative ones which try to improve the results of conventional treatments”, the newspaper said.
Antiretrovirals, vaccines, new treatments for hepatitis C and cancer drugs are examples of the advances of medical science. They can eradicate diseases, control their progression, increase life expectancy or minimise the side effects of previous therapies, El País said.
A lesser known contribution of drugs is their economic output. They can bring in substantial savings, both for the healthcare system and society as a whole and contribute to the country’s production structures, the newspaper added.
The implementation of smallpox vaccination avoided an estimated 40 million deaths globally, with savings around $2 billion, El País reported.
“More often than not, when the launch of an innovative drug is announced, the first thing to catch the public’s eye is its cost on the healthcare system," the daily said.
Innovative drugs can avoid hospital stays, visit to the doctor’s office, reduce work absenteeism and the need of care, it added.

Spain reaches balance between generics and branded drugs

After two decades [from the approval of the first generic drug in Spain], data show the drug market has reached maturity with a balance between branded and generic drugs. Patients are familiar with both types of medicines, daily ABC reports on Friday.
Free competition of branded and generic medicines is key for the sustainability of the healthcare system. It causes a drop in prices of reimbursed drugs. It also benefits patients, who have access to the treatments they need at a low price and with maximum guarantees [regarding their quality], the newspaper reports.
The newspaper quoted data provided by IMS consulting firm. According to IMS, generics accounted for 81% of the drugs sold at community pharmacies in Spain (in units) in 2017. This market share is similar to that of other developed countries and is way above the average in the European Union, ABC says.
The story includes 10 of the most frequent questions asked by patients when it comes to generic drugs.
The possibility of purchasing branded drugs with an active-principle based prescription, the reason why generics and branded drugs are sold at the same price and how generics bring in savings for the public healthcare system are some of them.

Spanish health minister promises abolition of copayment

Spanish health minister María Luisa Carcedo promised again the abolition of drug copayment for pensioners and low-income families, put on hold for six months. (APMHE 59059), it was widely reported on Wednesday.
Speaking at a working breakfast organised by debate association Europa Forum in Madrid, Carcedo said the government will abolish copayment for pensioners and families whose annual income is below €9,000, El País reported.
Daily ABC reported that, in order to make this happen, the government will have to pass next year’s national budget in the senate, where conservative People’s Party (PP) holds a majority.
Dailies El Mundo, La Vanguardia, Europa Press agency, medical journals Redacción Médica, El Médico Interactivo and Gaceta Médica also carried the story.

GSK and Pfizer to combine consumer health businesses

A joint venture of GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer’s consumer health businesses will result in a world giant in the sector, financials Cinco Días, Expansión and El Economista reported on Thursday. (APMHE 61132)
Europa Press agency and medical journal Diario Médico also carried the story.

Allergan implants pulled from Spain

The Spanish ministry of health has pulled Allergan’s breast implants from the market due to concern over links to a rare type of cancer, it was widely reported on Thursday and Friday. (APMHE 61160)
Dailies El País, La Vanguardia, Europa Press agency, financials El Economista and Cinco Días, medical journals Redacción Médica, Diario Médico and Acta Sanitaria also carry the story.
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