What were the major health trends, discoveries and developments around the world in 2013? To round out the year, we’ve reached out to all corners of the globe to bring the following insights from our GLOBALHealthPR partners. Happy New Year!
The most important media coverage (both in traditional and social media) of healthcare issues was related to organ donations and transplants from the personal stories of children. In addition, mass initiatives, such as those that promoted the importance of bone marrow donation, were widely covered.
The increase in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) cases in India was a major health story in 2013. In addition, pricing was a major issue – namely the DPCO (Drug Prices Control Order) — kicked in by July 2013 and the market growth crashed soon after.
Policy-wise, not allowing 100% FDI (capping at 49%) for brownfield projects was tops. This amounted to a “blanket ban” on investment for existing pharma companies.
Taking advantage of Shinya Yamanaka‘s achievement of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2012, the government to sign off on the world’s first clinical trials to use induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells harvested from the bodies of human patients.
The top story of 2013 was obesity, as Mexico is the number one country in the world with this health problem. In all aspects it was the main topic, from the government launching many prevention programs and “work out” campaigns up to a tax regulation issue where all sugar-sweetened beverages will be taxed.
Because of the international economical assistance (Troika), the main healthcare stories where related with cuts in the NHS and changes in co-participation. Patient associations from all areas are having difficulties with access and hospitals with lesser budgets to buy the prime necessities for the patients.
Because of the current Spanish economic crisis, healthcare situation has changed. Throughout 2013, the government has approved many policies regarding the public health sector in order to improve safety and costs. The most important were: major cuts in social and health services, as well as the privatization of part of the public health sector.
In the UK during 2013 the NHS topped the news agenda more so than any other healthcare topic in the UK. From the biggest restructure in its history, providing access to innovative treatments, service quality investigations, huge budget reductions and pioneering surgery – we have seen it all. We wait in anticipation to see what 2014 has in store for the world’s largest publicly funded health service…
In the U.S., the top healthcare, science stories focused on the dramatic advances in cancer treatment, particularly blood cancers (outside of the Affordable Care Act news). Within the past year, there have been a number of breakthrough trials to demonstrate the potential and future of oncologic science. For example, the approval of ibrutinib, an FDA Breakthrough Therapy-designated treatment for mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), was based on phase 2 studies only four months after the new drug application submission was filed, and not to mention based on dramatic patient response data. In addition, a recent study from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) showed complete remissions for 19 out of 22 children with relapsed, treatment-resistant forms of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who got the new form of gene therapy. These are examples of truly breakthrough science and news that deserve the attention to further successful patient treatment.