Press review

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Cinfa top pharma by sales in community pharmacies in Spain

MADRID, 28 Aug (APM) - Spain's generics firm Cinfa was the top seller in community pharmacies in the first half of the year with a 9% increase to €409.9 million, financial newspaper Cinco Días reported on Thursday.
Based on data provided by consulting firm Health Market Research (HMR), Boehringer Ingelheim ranks second with €309.4 million. Sanofi, MSD, GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis follow with €300.6 million, €276.6 million, 274.2 million and €272.7 million respectively.
Pfizer, which ranks seventh with €255.2 million, grew sales by 17% compared to the same period last year, with tobacco cessation drug Chantix/Champix as main growth booster. The drug was approved for reimbursement at the beginning of 2020, the financial noted. (APMHE 64980) AstraZeneca follows with sales of €226.1 million between January and June.
Spain's Normon and Bayer complete the top 10 pharmaceutical firms by sales in community pharmacies with €216.8 million and €211.1 million respectively.
Cinfa's valsartan, paracetamol and atorvastatin were the firm's biggest-selling drugs. Sales of Boehringer Ingelheim were boosted by diabetes drugs Jardiance (empagliflozin) and Synjardy (empagliflozin+metformin). The increase in demand of anticoagulant Pradaxa (dabigatran) and painkiller Nolotil (metamizole magnesium) were also key.
Anticoagulant drug Clexane (enoxaparin) was Sanofi's biggest-selling drug. The company's sales fell 9% compared with the same period last year due to biosimilar competition, Cinco Días reported.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been limited regarding sales of big pharma. However, in March sales of flu medicines increased 47% "due to a combination of a bigger need to alleviate symptoms of the disease and stockpiling". In April, demand for these drugs slumped 60%. In May, sales tumbled 67% and in June by 68%. Extended use of masks will most likely cause further falls by the end of the year, the financial reported.
The top drug in terms of sales was BMS/Pfizer's novel oral anticoagulant (NOAC) Eliquis (apixaban), with €100 million, a 27% increase from the same period last year. Sales of Bayer's NOAC Xarelto (rivaroxaban) increased 16%. Both drugs are finding its way in the market at the expense of Novartis' Sintrom (acenocoumarol), according to data provided by HMR.

EU in risk-sharing scheme for Covid-19 vaccine

The contracts between the EU and developers of Covid-19 vaccine candidates will include a risk-sharing scheme to make up for the high cost and risk of developing these therapies, financial El Economista reports on Friday. (APMHE 68694)
This kind of agreement will allow investments to be made that otherwise probably would not happen, but representatives of the European Commission have not offered details on the terms of these contracts.
Contacted by the financial, a spokesperson from the Spanish health ministry said "compensations to manufacturers will apply under certain, strict circumstances". The source said that developers will be responsible for the vaccines but EU states are open to partially support with funds the risk of manufacturing vaccines as a contribution to public health, El Economista adds.
Even though no details about the risk-sharing agreements have been disclosed, the "compensation" could be caused by the urgency of making a Covid-19 available.
Countries are already purchasing millions of doses which are still to be manufactured. If some of the ongoing clinical trials showed adverse results, "it would be only logical that countries compensate pharmaceutical firms for the cost of manufacturing the product before all the needed clinical results are conclusive", the newspaper says.
On Thursday, financial Cinco Días carried the headline: 'Doubts over possible compensations limit vaccine agreements in the EU'. The Commission would be offering developers of the vaccines "only partial protection in case of adverse events linked to the vaccines" whereas pharma want to minimise the risks to save their financial returns.
The risk of side effects or lack of efficacy is higher due to the speed at which these vaccines are being developed. The EU's strategy is partially to blame for the lack of supplies in Europe compared to the U.S., where the government will assume all responsibility and manufacturers are protected, the financial said.

Spain's purchases 30 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine candidate

Spain has bought 30 million doses of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine candidate via a European centralised purchase, financial Cinco Días reported on Tuesday. (APMHE 68688)
According to the financial, 10 million additional shots could be available if needed. In an unrelated Thursday story, a Spanish nurse who volunteered to participate in the vaccine trials told daily newspaper 20 Minutos that it will be ready for launch on 3 November.

AstraZeneca starts trial of Covid-19 treatment

On Tuesday, AstraZeneca announced that it has started trials of a combination of monoclonal antibodies to prevent and treat Covid-19, daily newspapers ABC and Diario 16 reported on Wednesday. (APMHE 68651)
Both newspapers noted that the company's Covid-19 vaccine candidate is one of the most advanced.
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