U.S. appeals court strikes down Florida law in ‘Docs vs. Glocks’ case

Reuters, 16 February 2017
Author: Brendan Pierson
“A U.S. appeals court on Thursday struck down a Florida law that barred doctors from asking patients about gun ownership, ruling that the law violated doctors’ right to free speech. The decision, from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, reverses an earlier decision in the so-called “Docs v. Glocks” case by a three-judge panel of that court upholding the law.”
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Mistakes at U.S. lab force hundreds of Zika tests to be repeated

Reuters, 17 February 2017
Author: Julie Steenhuysen
“Officials in Washington, D.C.’s public health laboratory had to repeat Zika tests for nearly 300 pregnant women, including two women who were mistakenly told they tested negative for the mosquito-borne virus that has been shown to cause birth defects.”
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UnitedHealth sued by U.S. government over Medicare charges

Reuters, 17 February 2017
Author: Akankshita Mukhopadhyay, Laharee Chatterjee
“The U.S. Justice Department has joined a whistleblower lawsuit against UnitedHealth Group Inc that claims the country’s largest health insurer and its units and affiliates overcharged Medicare hundreds of millions of dollars, a law firm representing the whistleblower said on Thursday.”
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Human genome editing report strikes the right balance between risks and benefits

The Conversation, 16 February 2017
Author: Merlin Crossley
“If you recognise the words “CRISPR-mediated gene editing”, then you’ll know that our ability to alter DNA has recently become much more efficient, faster and cheaper. This has inevitably led to serious discussions about gene therapy, which is the direct modification of someone’s DNA to rectify a genetic disorder, such as sickle cell anaemia or haemophilia. And you may also have heard of deliberate genetic enhancement, to realise a healthy person’s dreams of improving their genome.”
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Human Gene Editing Receives Science Panel’s Support

NYT Health, 14 February 2017
Author: Amy Harmon
“An influential science advisory group formed by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine on Tuesday lent its support to a once-unthinkable proposition: the modification of human embryos to create genetic traits that can be passed down to future generations. This type of human gene editing has long been seen as an ethical minefield. Researchers fear that the techniques used to prevent genetic diseases might also be used to enhance intelligence, for example, or to create people physically suited to particular tasks, like serving as soldiers.”
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Health professional associations and industry funding

The Lancet, 389 (10069), p597-598, 11 February 2017
Authors: Anthony Costello, Francesco Branca, Nigel Rollins, Nigel Rollins, Marcus Stahlhofer, Laurence Grummer-Strawn
“The UK Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) announced in October, 2016, its decision to continue to accept funding from manufacturers of breast milk substitutes (BMS). This decision raises serious concerns about the college’s impartiality and sets a harmful precedent for other health professional organisations. In order to protect the credibility and the authority of professional organisations that contribute to the formulation of public policy, they need to adopt codes of conduct and practices that protect their independence from vested interests.”
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Calwell woman settles lawsuit against Canberra Hospital, doctors for $12m

SMH, 13 February 2017
Author: Alexandra Back
“A Calwell woman who was suing the Canberra Hospital and two doctors over alleged failures stemming from migraine drug treatment has settled the case for $12 million. It had been alleged that as a result of the alleged failures, Stacey Louise Cave, 40, suffered a stroke and brain damage, and was left dependent on a wheelchair.”
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Unproven alternative medicines recommended by third of Australian pharmacists

The Guardian, 13 February 2017
Author: Melissa Davey
“Nearly one third of pharmacists are recommending complementary and alternative medicines with little-to-no evidence for their efficacy, including useless homeopathic products and potentially harmful herbal products.”
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