Press review


Bayer Hispania to cut 67 jobs

Country : Spain, U.S., Mexico

Keywords :
MADRID, 25 Jan (APM) - Bayer Hispania will cut “around 65 jobs”, company sources told medical journal Redacción Médica, which carries the story on Friday.
Company sources told Redacción Médica that job cuts are part of a reorganisation to be carried out in Spain.
The journal quoted representatives from trade union Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) as saying the cuts will affect a total of 67 workers. The company announced a plan including 12,000 job cuts and structural measures in November 2018. (APMHE 60829)
Until now, the impact of Bayer’s adjustment plan in Spain had remained unknown, La Vanguardia reported.
CCOO representatives said talks with executives started on 18 January and that they will not accept the firm’s conditions because they think employees can be transferred to other posts, Redacción Médica reported.
Daily La Vanguardia, Europa Press agency and a number of regional newspapers covered the story earlier in the week, without a company confirmation.

Oncology and immunology growth drivers of the healthcare market

On Thursday, financial Cinco Días carried a lengthy story about the increasing prevalence of chronic conditions and how this has turned cancer and immunology therapies into the main growth drivers for the healthcare market.
Regardless of the economy, demand for healthcare services and products is guaranteed. An ageing population and an increase in chronic diseases, together with the emergence of innovative therapies, explain why healthcare accounts for 10%-15% of the global gross domestic product, Cinco Días said.
Jordi Mas, from Caixa Bank Multisalud, was quoted in the story as saying: “In times of crisis, patients keep demanding the same products and healthcare services. This makes [the healthcare sector] more resistant than the rest of the economy”.
Rating agency Moody’s anticipates an average increase of 2%-3% in pharmaceutical companies’ EBITDA over the next 12-18 months. Vice-president Knut Slatten noted this is a remarkable increase considering the possibility of price drops in the U.S. Oncology and immunology will hold the strongest pharmaceutical products in the near future, Slatten said.
Ion Arocena, director general of Spanish biotech association ASEBIO, told Cinco Días oncology is “clearly” the most dynamic therapeutic area, accounting for 32% of all ongoing research of the companies represented in the association.
The article presented Bristo-Myers’ Opdivo (nivolumab) and Yervoy (ipilimumab) as relevant products in this scenario.
Other drugs mentioned in the story are Biogen’s aducanumab and candidate drugs from Sanofi, BioMarin, Alexion and Ultragenyx for rare diseases.
CAR-Ts were also included in the story, leading to a paragraph about the budgetary impact of recent innovation on healthcare systems.

Opioid-related deaths linked to pharma’s payments to doctors

According to a study published online in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), pharma marketing activities (including payments to doctors) are linked to increased deaths by opioid overdose, daily El Diario reported on Saturday.
Researchers looked into U.S. data on opioid prescribing and mortality from overdoses from 2013 to 2015. During that period, pharma spent almost $40 million in marketing campaigns for these medicines, directed at 67,500 physicians.
The authors of the research article found that increased opioid prescribing was correlated with increased marketing of opioid products to physicians, and subsequently led to more mortality from overdoses, the newspaper reported.
El Diario cautioned that the research found a link between marketing and opioid-related deaths, but that it does not prove that marketing is the cause of the increase in mortality.
However, the authors said that direct marketing can counteract efforts to reduce the number of opioid prescriptions, so “these kind of activities should be restricted”. They also suggest the influence of pharma should be reexamined, the daily added.

Novartis to invest $20 million in Mexico

Swiss firm Novartis will invest $20 million in Mexico, financial El Economista reports on Friday.
Luz María de la Mora, the country’s vice-secretary of commerce, made the announcement at the latest meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
El Economista quotes de la Mora as saying: “Novartis is very interested in developing its services centre in Mexico, with an initial investment of $20 million and the creation of more jobs”. The subsecretary had previously met with representatives of the company.

EMA committee recommends orphan designation for Pharmamar’s Zepsyre

The Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (COMP) has recommended orphan designation for Pharmamar’s Zepsyre (lurbinectedin) in small cell lung cancer, boosting the firm’s shares by 11%, financials Expansión, Cinco Días medical journal Acta Sanitaria and a number of regional newspapers report on Friday.



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