Image credits: Jaron Nix en Unsplash
Weekly Roundups

Innovation, Regulation Must Align to Spur Health Access

By Miriam Bello | Wed, 06/29/2022 - 13:00

Mexico’s public health sector is enhancing health access through infrastructure and vaccine investment. Globally, innovation and research continue to shine the light on novel health solutions, which require the correct regulatory framework to reach the general public.

Here is the week in health!

President López Obrador to “Rescue” Abandoned Hospitals

This Tuesday, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador committed to “rescue” hospitals that were not completed during previous administrations. These hospitals, of which there are over 200, are programmed to be finished by the end of his administration and will be managed by IMSS-Bienestar.

COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Will Soon Arrive in Mexico

The vaccination campaign for children between five and 11 years old started this week in 11 states and will last three months. A second dose will be applied after a period of four to eight weeks.

Next week, Mexico will receive over 1 million Pfizer-BioNTech doses to continue this campaign, as reported by the Ministry of Health. Mexico’s Deputy Minister of Health, Hugo López-Gatell, invited parents to vaccinate their children.

Women Account for Just 6 Percent of Leadership Roles in Health

Despite representing over half of the health workforce in Mexico, women occupy only 6 percent of its managerial positions and earn 18.3 percent less than men, found a study by “México ¿Como Vamos?”

Investment in Organ Donation, Transplant Creates Savings: CENATRA

Investment in transplants and organ donation saves lives and generates savings for the health sector as those who receive an organ or tissue can recover and retake productive activities, said José Salvador Aburto, the General Director, National Transplant Center (CENATRA), during the Donation and Transplantation Forum.

Drug Production, Trafficking, Consumption Grows Globally: UNODC

Drug production, trafficking, consumption and seizure increased globally over the past two years, especially of cannabis and cocaine, according to the World Drug Report 2022 of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Legalization of marijuana in several places accelerated its daily consumption and related health consequences.

Development of New Antibiotics Stalls: WHO

The development of new antibiotics is not progressing as expected. In the past five years, only twelve new antibiotics were approved and 10 of those belong to classes that are already resistant to drugs. The UN and the World Health Organization (WHO) warn that the lack of new innovative antibiotics leaves millions vulnerable to microbial resistant infections.

AI-Based Medical Devices Need Clear Regulations

A report by Stanford University found that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has large gaps in its approval procedures for AI medical devices. To improve its current regulation for AI-based medical devices, the FDA has recently called for improving the quality of the evaluation data, increasing trust and transparency between developers and users, monitoring algorithmic performance and bias on the intended population and testing with clinicians in the loop.

US Supreme Court Overturns Major Reproductive Health Ruling

With six votes in favor and three against, the US Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade, the 1973 court decision that established the constitutional right to abortion. The decision could make abortion illegal in 22 US states.

Poliovirus Found in London Sewage

Vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (VDPV2), which rarely causes paralysis and other serious illness among those who are not fully vaccinated, was found in sewage samples collected from London, the UK. The detected VDPV2 is linked to individuals living in North and East London. The UK government urged its population, especially young children, to ensure their polio vaccines are up to date.

Researchers Find Molecule that Reduces Appetite Post Exercise

Exercise stimulates the production of N-lactoyl-phenylalanine (Lac-Phe), suppressing hunger, found researchers at Stanford University. The study found that about 25 percent of the anti-obesity effects of exercise can be attributed to the Lac-Phe molecule. The discovery is expected to contribute to treatments of obesity and metabolic diseases. 

Experts of the Week

  • Victor Sanchez, CEO, Pragmatec, explained the opportunities biotechnology presents for the sector.
  • Luiz Reis, Director of Growth Latam, Bionexo, discussed how digitalization is a tool to strengthen compliance in the sector.
Photo by:   Jaron Nix en Unsplash
Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst