Press review

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Pharma leads the way in gender parity in Spain

MADRID, 8 Mar (APM) - It is being widely reported on Friday, International Women's Day, that women hold 41% of executive positions in the pharma industry, according to data provided by Spanish branded pharma lobby Farmaindustria.
Financial El Economista is reporting that women account for 63.7% of pharma’s workforce in R&D. It quotes a statement from the trade body as saying that pharma is at the forefront in the fight for gender equality in the workplace and that the industry has the lowest gender disparity in Spain.
According to Farmaindustria, women play a crucial role in Spain’s pharmaceutical industry, El Economista reports.
Medical journal Redacción Médica says that women’s representation on pharma executive boards is considerably higher than the average of other industries in Spain.
Dailies La Vanguardia, El Confidencial, Servimedia and Europa Press agencies, medical journals El Médico Interactivo, Acta Sanitaria and IM Médico Hospitalario also carry the story.

If pharma does not develop new antibiotics, someone must

In a Tuesday editorial, daily El País’ contributor Milagros Pérez-Oliva argues that medicines are too important to leave their development in the hands of market dynamics. “More and more voices warn that pharma’s investment decisions are based on financial return, leaving a number of health needs unmet,” she said.
According to Pérez-Oliva, that is the reason why clinical trials in search of new indications for old drugs whose patents have expired are abundant and it also explains why a truly new medicine emerges, its price is extremely high.
“We have witnessed this with two of the few recent disruptive advances: [Novartis’] Gleevec in leukaemia and Sovaldi in hepatitis C, which costs from 60,000 to 70,000 per treatment”, she said.
Pérez argues that these prices are not justified by development costs because Médecins Sans Frontières has recently developed a new drug for human African trypanosomiasis (HAT). That story covered by the newspaper the previous week. (APMHE 62089) “As there are only near 20,000 people affected, it has never interested pharmaceutical companies”, she added.
Each year 700,000 people die from drug-resistant infections. The World Health Organization estimates 10 million deaths in 2015 will be due to these. If pharma does not look for new antibiotics, someone will have to, Pérez-Oliva said at the end of her article.

Vertex’ Orkambi sold at $272,000 in U.S., unavailable in UK

On Saturday, financial Cinco Días carried a brief story reporting that Vertex’ Orkambi (lumacaftor+ivacaftor) for cystic fibrosis is a promising drug, regrettably still unavailable in the UK three years after it was approved.
The financial told the story of a British teacher whose second child was diagnosed with CF at an early age. The woman was quoted as saying the drug's approval was “a ray of hope at a very dark moment”.
However, Cinco Días reported that 10,000 patients in the UK are still waiting for the drug to be available in the country “in an agonising wait that follow a devastating diagnose”.

Anti-depressant nasal spray approved in U.S.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Janssen's antidepressant nasal spray Spravato, dailies El País and 20 Minutos reported on Wednesday. (APMHE 62146)
El País reported that the drug acts quickly and that it must only be administered to patients in a doctor's office or medical facility to prevent abuse. Patients must stay in the premises for at least two hours after receiving treatment with Spravato, 20 Minutos added.

Singer Bosé accuses Spanish president of collusion with pharma over pseudo-therapies campaign

Famous Spanish singer Miguel Bosé has accused president Pedro Sánchez of colluding with pharma over a government campaign which warns about the dangers of pseudo-therapies.
The artist, who has been highly opinionated in his Twitter account recently, was widely criticised for this particular comment.
Dailies ABC, El Mundo, El País, Público and a number of regional newspapers also carried the story.
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