MADRID, 24 May (APM) - The opposition in Andalusia region has accused a senior healthcare official of collusion with China’s pharmaceutical firm Techdow to promote the use of its biosimilar version of Sanofi’s thromboembolism drug Lovenox (enoxaparin), it was widely reported on Tuesday.
According to daily ABC, communist party IU has called for the immediate resignation of Diego Vargas, head of healthcare assistance in the new regional government of Andalusia and former Techdow medical director.
Vargas has been accused of positioning Inhixa, Techdow’s biosimilar of Sanofi’s Lovenox in the list of preferential drugs to be used in public hospitals across Andalusia, IU coordinator Antonio Maíllo told the daily.
ABC quoted Maíllo as saying: "This is an absolutely scandalous case of collusion. The first decision he has made [as head of healthcare assistance] is adding Inhixa to the list of drugs administered in public settings. This is the same drug he promoted as a Techdow employee."
El País said Vargas "commanded" managers of public hospitals in the region to buy the drug in spite of a possible conflict of interest.
On Friday, Europa Press reports that Techdow has denied collusion and clarified that Vargas never recommended Inhixa specifically. A general recommendation about biosimilars was sent to hospitals, with the name of the drug among the list of biosimilars available in Spain, Techdow said in a statement.
La Vanguardia, Público, medical journal Redacción Médica and a number of regional newspapers also carried the story.
Batch of antihypertensive drug recalled due to error in expiration date
On Tuesday, daily ABC and a number of regional newspapers reported that Spanish regulator AEMPS have recalled a batch of Genefarma’s hypertension drug Tensikey due to a mistake in the expiration date.
According to ABC, AEMPS has warned autonomous regions and commanded a follow-up of the recall, affecting batch N003 of Tensikey Complex 20 mg/12.5 mg.
On Friday, financial El Economista carries a story with safety tips on the use of expired medicines.
The financial quotes a study published in Journal of Clinical Pharmacology as suggesting that some drugs, if properly stored, can be extended past their expiration date. In some cases, their properties remain 100% intact five years after their expiry date.
They must be stored in their original packaging and be sealed, El Economista cautions.
The authors of the study added that external factors such as heat and humidity can greatly influence the time a drug loses its properties, the financial notes.
Novartis tops ratings for corporate reputation
Novartis has been designated top pharmaceutical company in Spanish Merco reputation ranking for ten consecutive years, medical journals Redacción Médica and Acta Sanitaria report on Friday.
Acta Sanitaria quotes a company statement as saying that the ratings are based on a total of 47,556 surveys sent to senior executives, journalist, university professors, analysts, union members and consumer associations in Spain. It includes companies from all sectors, with Novartis listed as top among pharma.
Redacción Médica noted that Novartis fell seven positions from 55th in 2018 to 62nd in 2019. Bayer is the second pharmaceutical company in the ranking, occupying the 84th position, followed by Grifols (93rd). Roche, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Almirall, Lilly and GlaxoSmithkline are other pharmaceutical firms in the ranking, all of them below the 100th position cut.
Pharmamar sells subsidiary Zelnova
Pharmamar has agreed to sell subsidiary Zelnova Zeltia for €33.4 million, financial Cinco Días reports on Friday.
The sale will allow Pharmamar to focus on its pharmaceutical businesses, the financial notes.
French mayor gives out Viagra to boost local birth rate
The mayor of Montereau, a small village of 600 people south of Paris, is trying to boost the local birth rate by giving Viagra to young couples between the ages of 18 and 40, daily El País reports on Friday.
Mayor Debouzy hopes this will help recover the declining birth rate and keep the village’s school open.
El País quotes Debouzy as saying: "A village without children is a village that dies."