Press review

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Pharma should not brag about its role in Covid-19 fight as it goes from 'demonised' to valued

Country : Greece, Spain, U.S., UK

Keywords :
MADRID, 12 June (APM) - Pharma can make the best of the Covid-19 pandemic and escape its damaged "demonised" reputation, Georgina Rosell, director of consulting firm LLYC said in a Saturday editorial carried by Spanish daily newspaper La Vanguardia.
She cautioned, however, that it is necessary to avoid the perception of pharma being opportunistic regarding this crisis. Companies should avoid bragging about 'saving the day', instead joining in the community’s efforts to overcome the crisis.
"If the company did not do its communications homework before the pandemic, and there is a lack of coordination between goals, actions and talent, it would be more advisable to keep a low profile and avoid a boomerang effect," she added.
Sometimes the public does not know that the development of new drugs requires a substantial investment in terms of time, resources and funding. The pandemic has put pharma’s crucial role in the spotlight when it comes to research and economic growth. According to Rosell, this will contribute to a more positive perception of pharma’s work.
Rosell considers that the current healthcare crisis is already changing perceptions of the pharma industry for the better because it is showing the sector's commitment to fight the disease.

Pandemic making pharma richer

On Sunday, daily newspaper El País carried a story with the headline: "Stationary bikes manufacturers, private jets or pharma: Who has become rich during the pandemic?" The winner is "obviously" the healthcare industry, pharma and biotech above all, the newspaper said.
U.S. biotech Moderna was mentioned in the story. It is currently developing a vaccine with promising results in Phase II. The firm’s shares have skyrocketed 300% from January, El País noted.

Spain does not need to manufacture Covid-19 vaccine

On Wednesday, daily newspaper ABC carried an interview with César Hernández, head of medicinal products for human use at Spanish regulator AEMPS, who said: "It is not essential for Spain to manufacture its own Covid-19 vaccine."
The interview contradicts previous media reports that Spain lacks production resources to provide the population with a Covid-19 vaccine if it is eventually developed. (APMHE 67643)
According to Hernández: "The effort to develop and deliver a Covid-19 vaccine is a global one and the treatment will not be based on one drug only."
He told ABC that Spain has the capacity to produce thousands of vaccine doses and that research teams are working hard to help develop the vaccine.
As Spain starts to ease Covid-19 restrictions, the pandemic is worsening in Asia and America, reaching over the past few days the highest contagion rates from its beginning. That is why the development of a vaccine is a global public health priority, ABC said.
On Friday, daily newspaper El País and financial newspaper Cinco Días carry stories quoting Thomas Cueni, director general of global pharma trade body IFPMA, as saying that approximately 15 billion vaccine doses may be needed to meet the world's demands and that there is no manufacturing capacity to reach that goal.

Case report of patient resistant to all available HIV drugs

The first patient ever to be resistant to all available HIV therapies has been identified, it was widely reported on Tuesday.
Daily newspaper El Mundo said that the only therapeutic options to treat this particular case are experimental drugs. The situation seemed "unlikely" due to the numerous HIV drugs currently available.
ABC reported that the patient is an 80-year-old man treated in Athens (Greece), who has not responded to five different kinds of drugs, including a total of 26 medicines. The patient was diagnosed when he was 41 years old and has received a total of 14 different drug combinations which worked temporarily, according to The Lancet Microbe, the newspaper noted.
Daily newspapers La Vanguardia, El Periódico, EFE agency, medical journals Diario Médico, Gaceta Médica and a number of regional newspapers also carried the story.

Promising Phase II results for Merck KGaA’s Tepmetko in lung cancer

Positive Phase II results of Merck KGaA’s Tepmetko (tepotinib) have been published in The New England Journal of Medicine, daily newspapers 20 Minutos, ABC and Europa Press agency reported on Thursday.
The Rosell Oncology Institute of Barcelona (IOR) has been one of the centers involved in the trial to assess the safety and efficacy of the drug. The medicine has been developed for patients with a specific mutation in the MET gene and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), 20 Minutos reported.
A number of regional newspapers carried the story on Friday.

AstraZeneca reportedly in talks with Gilead over potential merger

UK pharma giant AstraZeneca is said to have approached Gilead last month over a potential merger, it was widely reported on Sunday. (APMHE 67673, 67665)
Daily newspaper El País, Europa Press agency, financial newspapers Cinco Días, Expansión, El Economista and a number of regional newspapers also carried the story.
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