Press review

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Pharmacists from Catalonia condemn delivery firm Glovo for selling drugs

MADRID, 17 May (APM) - The federation of Catalonian pharmacists has attacked delivery company Glovo, telling the region’s healthcare authorities that they are ignoring Spanish law by allowing drugs to be sold online, dailies ABC and El Periódico reported on Thursday.
Pharmacists’ associations in Madrid and Andalucia regions challenged Glovo in court months ago, alleging the company has ignored instructions from Spanish regulator AEMPS, which mandated the removal of all drugs from Glovo’s website and mobile app in June 2018, ABC reported.
This is the second time that Catalonian pharmacists have criticised Glovo via their federation, FEFAC. The organisation argues that Spanish law does not allow drugs to be sold online, unless they are created and managed by community pharmacies, the newspaper said.
On Friday, daily La Vanguardia quotes a statement from Glovo denying it sells or advertises medicines. "Our activity consists of getting consumers, pharmacies and delivery people in touch," the statement says.
Glovo’s delivery staff act for consumers who demand over-the-counter medicines. Purchases are made at community pharmacies with the supervision of a pharmacists, as mandated by Spanish law, according to the statement.
The shipping company added that if a pharmacist sells a drug, the responsibility for the sale is down to the pharmacy. It also clarified that pharmacists are fully aware when a delivery person purchases a medicine for a customer, whereas Glovo is merely an intermediary. It also declares its intention to facilitate the communication between pharmacists and customers, La Vanguardia adds.
Daily El País carries the story on Friday. The newspaper notes that drug purchases must be supervised by a pharmacist under all circumstances because, otherwise, a bigger risk of buying counterfeit medicines exists, according to the Spanish health ministry.
The Catalonian government had called Glovo’s services "illegal", El País notes. Dailies 20 Minutes and El Diario also carry the story on Friday.

Spanish researchers to start trial of CAR-T in resistant lymphoma

On Saturday, dailies La Razón, El Periódico, 20 Minutos and Europa Press agency reported that a new Spanish trial will assess the safety and efficacy of CAR-Ts in patients with relapsed large B cell lymphoma.
Approximately half of patients with large B cell lymphoma relapse. A number of new therapies for these cases have emerged over the past few years, such as CAR-Ts. "They are a turning point", Jordi Sierra, head of haematology at Sant Pau Hospital in Barcelona, told La Razón.
About 40% of patients treated with CAR-Ts respond to treatment. However, 20-30% of them can experience relapse, Javier Briones, head of immunotherapy at Sant Pau Research Institute explained.
Sant Pau will lead a new clinical trial of CAR-Ts in patients with resistant B cell lymphoma. The study is set to start by the end of this year, La Razón reported.

U.S. plaintiffs awarded $2 billion in glyphosate trial

On Monday, a California jury awarded over $2 billion to a couple who alleged that Monsanto’s glyphosate caused their cancer, causing Bayer shares to fall, it was widely reported this week. (APMHE 62966)
On Tuesday, daily El Mundo noted this is the third glyphosate trial with an adverse outcome for the company. Bayer will appeal, El Mundo added.
Financial Cinco Días carried the headline: "Monsanto’s glyphosate taints Bayer shares". Dailies El País, ABC, Público, El Periódico and La Razón also carried the story.

Just one hospital authorised to use CAR-Ts in Andalusia region

Manuel Molina, head of Hospital Virgen del Rocío in Seville, told medical journal Gaceta Médica in a Saturday interview that even though he is proud that his hospital has been authorised to use CAR-Ts, it will not be enough to meet patients’ needs as it is the only one in the region.
Molina thinks that hospitals with the best technical requirements have been chosen by the ministry. However, he added that the number of candidates to be treated with CAR-Ts will probably increase. An assessment of how many hospitals would be needed to administer these treatments to the people who need them should be carried out by the ministry, Gaceta Médica reported.
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