Queensland abortion law bill rejected, but reform is still an ‘open question’

SMH, 30 August 2016
Author: Daisy Dumas
“After 1400 submissions, scores of expert appearances and public hearings in Cairns, Emerald and Brisbane, Queensland’s Parliamentary inquiry into abortion law reform has rejected a bill to decriminalise abortion across the state.”
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The ethics of expanding access to cheaper, less effective treatments

The Lancet, Volume 388, No. 10047, p932–934, 27 August 2016
Authors: Govind C Persad, Ezekiel J Emanuel
“These examples raise a fundamental question of justice in global health. Is it ethically preferable to provide a larger number of people with cheaper treatments that are less effective (or more toxic), or to restrict treatments to a smaller group to provide a more expensive but more effective or less toxic alternative? As WHO’s contrasting positions indicate, this debate has persisted unresolved.”
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Poor prescription practices across Africa are putting patients at risk

The Conversation, 30 August 2016
Authors: Richard Ofori-Asenso, Allyson Pollock, Petra Brhlikova
“Irrational prescriptions are a major global health problem. The World Health Organisation estimates that more than half of all medicines are inappropriately prescribed, dispensed or sold. In addition, half of all patients fail to take them correctly. In Africa, where most countries have weak health systems and underdeveloped mechanisms for routine monitoring of medicines, this problem is common.”
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Clarifying end-of-life law for doctors

MJA Insight, 29 August 2016
Authors: Ben White, Lindy Willmott, Penny Neller
“We developed the End of Life Law in Australia website at the Australian Centre for Health Law Research, at the Queensland University of Technology, to support medical practitioners, other health professionals, lawyers, policy makers, patients, families and the broader community to know, understand and navigate the complexities of the law at end of life.”
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As More Parents Refuse Vaccines, More Doctors Dismiss Them — With AAP’s Blessing

Forbes, 29 AUgust 2016
Author: Tara Haelle
“The tides are shifting for parents who delay or refuse vaccines and the doctors who treat them: More pediatricians are seeing more vaccine refusals, and more pediatricians are pushing back. But now, those doctors pushing back have a bit more support from the American Academy of Pediatrics.”
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Hospital CEOs Behaving Badly And The Devastating Consequences On The Middle Class

Forbes, 29 August 2016
Author: Dave Chase
“When big health insurers propose mergers, it makes for good antitrust enforcement theater to try to block them. However, if government officials want to address anti-competitive activities that have a dramatically bigger impact, they should shift their focus to local market provider M&A activity that consistently show prices increase after the deal is done. However, the most rapacious, anti-competitive practices I’ve seen in my entire career have come from hospitals–frequently from tax-exempt “nonprofits” that would make John D. Rockefeller blush with their brutal actions. The combined impact has created a middle class economic depression that has driven populist presidential campaign success, which was highlighted in a recently released Brookings study.”
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Depression Treatment Often Doesn’t Go To Those Most In Need

NPR, 29 August 2016
Author: Zhai Yun Tan
“Most Americans who screen positive for depression don’t receive treatment, a study finds, while most who did receive treatment don’t appear to have the disorder.
“Over the last several years there has been an increase in prescription of antidepressants,” says Mark Olfson, professor of psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center and lead author of the study, which was published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. “In that context, many people assumed that undertreatment of depression is no longer a common problem.”
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Look Who’s Bearing The Cost Of Pharma’s Long-Time Sales And Marketing Tactics

Forbes, 26 August 2016
Author: Erika Kelton
“For decades, drug manufacturers have undertaken aggressive and sometimes illegal marketing to boost profits, even when patients’ health is at risk. The arrest of two pharma sales employees in June underscores that Big Pharma is not simply a bystander to the nation’s opioid overdose epidemic. Pharma’s no-holds-barred promotional tactics are an integral cause of this tragedy.”
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All U.S. Blood Donations Should Be Screened For Zika, FDA Says

NPR, 26 August 2016
Author: Joe Neel
“The Food and Drug Administration is recommending that blood banks screen all blood donations in the U.S. for the Zika virus. It’s a major expansion from a Feb. 16 advisory that limited such screening to areas with active Zika virus transmission.”
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Mother Calls EpiPen Price Hike ‘A Matter Of Life And Death’

NPR, 27 August 2016
Authors: Alison Kodjak, Michel Martin
“You probably heard news this week about the rising cost of EpiPens. Those are devices people carry around to inject themselves with medicine to treat severe allergic reactions. The cost has risen from about $100 for a pack of two to about $600 – all that since 2009. Now, for many people, these are not optional. These are literally lifesavers.”
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