Press review

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Takeda to cut 27 jobs in Spain after Shire takeover

MADRID, 21 June (APM) - Takeda plans to reduce its staff in Spain by 10% after completing its takeover of shire, affecting 27 jobs, financial El Economista reported on Thursday.
Severance packages will follow Spanish law but will also include a “small compensation” adjusted by salary and age of the affected employees, the paper said.
The process will start on 30 June and is expected to be completed by September 30.
Takeda Spain will operate from Shire’s former headquarters in Madrid, and its head will be Stefanie Granado, former Shire's director.

Keytruda to become best-selling drug globally

On Friday, financial Cinco Días carried a story that forecasts that Merck & Co's Keytruda (pembrolizumab) will take over AbbVie’s Humira (adalimumab) at the top of the list of biggest selling drugs.
According to a report by Evaluate Pharma, sales of Keytruda will be €15 billion in five years, growing 15% annually, Cinco Días reports.
In Spain, Keytruda has been approved for reimbursement in advanced melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer. It is also being investigated in several other indications.
A source from Merck & Co. told Cinco Días that the company has the biggest immuno-oncology research programme, with over 1,000 trials on pembrolizumab.

Paediatrician disbarred for spreading arguments against vaccination

A paediatrician working in Madrid has been disbarred following reports of her telling patients and writing articles against vaccination, dailies El País, El Diario, 20 Minutos and Público report on Friday.
The physician will not be allowed to work for 364 days. Linking vaccines to autism and spreading theories is a “serious offence”, healthcare professionals have told El País.
The Spanish Autism Confederation, with represents over 70 local patient associations, reported the paediatrician before healthcare authorities in an attempt to protect families from messages and practices out of scientific evidence, a spokesperson says in El País.

Difficulties in access to epilepsy drugs

On Friday, daily El País reports that three out of five epilepsy patients lack access to proper treatments, even those which are sold at less than €5.
The story follows a recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO) which says that 50 million people live with epilepsy globally. An estimated 80% of patients live in countries where access to even cheap epilepsy drugs is problematic.
The stigma of epilepsy makes patients hide the condition and avoid treatment. A number of WHO initiatives are being implemented to educate the population and raise awareness about epilepsy treatment, El País adds.

Tranquilisers used as recreational drugs by Spanish youngsters

On Thursday, daily El Mundo carried a lengthy story on the so-called "Lexatin generation", about increased abuse of benzodiazepine bromazepam and other tranquilisers among Spanish adolescents and young adults.
The story quotes popular novels among youngsters, whose characters "take anxiolytics as if they were ibuprofen". The author of one of these books is compared in the story to Elizabeth Wurtzel, a journalist who described New York as a city inhabited by depressed people addicted to medicines.
The use of psychoactive medicines in Spain is the highest among EU countries, the newspaper adds.
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