Sánchez and Pfizer's war against the electronic cigarette.
Pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer, with the approval of the Pedro Sánchez government, are determined to criminalize the electronic cigarette sector. Millions of public and private euros that, instead of targeting tobacco, are aimed at the electronic cigarette. The reason: the interest of pharmaceutical companies in making their anti-smoking drugs popular.
The Pedro Sánchez government has not hesitated to benefit Pfizer even while in office. In fact, it is curious that the acting Minister of Health, María Luisa Carcedo, has closed an agreement with the pharmaceutical company to subsidize its anti-smoking drug, Champix, which will become a generic in Europe in 2021. Who subsidizes a drug that in only two years will it become generic? Our government.
In addition, the amount of the subsidy is not negligible: 30 million, which will come out of the Social Security piggy bank. But there is not the thing. How can it be that the subsidy is higher than the sales of the product? So that's it. In 2018, Champix sales reached 18 million. In this way, taking into account that citizens contribute an average of 40% of the price of the medicine prescribed by Social Security, it would imply sales for a total amount of 50 million euros - of which, remember, we put 30 million all the Spanish people-.
The decision of the Minister of Health, in addition to benefiting Pfizer exclusively for the next two years, will have a double impact in 2021, when Champix's patent expires and it will become a generic. But this reality does not seem to have been taken into account by the ministry that controls, in office, María Luisa Carcedo, since it has chosen to finance the drug until it becomes a generic.
In this way, the taxpayer will be the one who assumes the cost of a drug for two years before the patent expires, with which Pfizer ensures that it maximizes the benefits in the last years of the aforementioned patent.
The Spanish Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR) and its foundation, "Fundación del Pulmón", have never hidden their interests in pharmaceuticals, to the point that they publicly declare nine on their website as "patrons and patrons" of said society.
In addition, as can be seen on the Pfizer website, SEPAR has received 411,863 euros in donations and sponsorships since 2015. But, in addition, its president, Carlos A. Jiménez Ruiz, who also has a position in the 'European Respiratory Society (ERS) ', has received from Pfizer in 2017 and 2018, in concept of fees, registrations and accommodation the amounts of 8,173 and 6,968 euros, respectively. Of course, if there is no previous data, it is because from FarmaIndustria the publication of the transfers of values in individuals was not mandatory until 2017, and previously they were declared within medical societies.
The enemy: tobacco or electronic cigarettes?