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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Making headway against low value services

MJA Insight, 13 February 2017
Author: Nicole Mackee
“The push to address the use of low value, or potentially harmful, medical services is continuing to gain pace in Australia, say experts, after the Lancet published an article describing the overuse of medical services worldwide. Professor Adam Elshaug, professor of Health Policy at the University of Sydney, codirector of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy and a coleader of a Lancet series, Right Care, said Australia’s clinical community had pulled together to drive initiatives aimed at tackling inappropriate care.”
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Sen. Grassley Launches Inquiry Into Orphan Drug Law’s Effect On Prices

NPR, 10 February 2017
Author: Sarah Jane Tribble
“Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has opened an inquiry into potential abuses of the Orphan Drug Act that may have contributed to high prices on commonly used drugs.”
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The Use of Public Health Evidence in Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt

JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(2):155-156.
Author: Daniel Grossman
“Enacted in 2013, Texas’s House Bill 2 (HB 2) was one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. The law had 4 provisions: (1) physicians providing abortion had to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, (2) medication abortion had to be provided according to the protocol described in the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved labeling of mifepristone, (3) most abortions at 20 weeks postfertilization or later were banned, and (4) facilities providing abortion had to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers. The first 3 provisions went into effect by November 2013; the fourth provision, meeting the standards of ambulatory surgical centers, was enforced only briefly in October 2014 before the US Supreme Court issued a stay.”
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Increased Service Use Among Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Associated With Mental Health Parity Law

Health Aff 2017 vol. 36 no. 2 337-345
Authors: Elizabeth A. Stuart, Emma E. McGinty, Luther Kalb, Haiden A. Huskamp et al
“Health care services for children with autism spectrum disorder are often expensive and frequently not covered under private health insurance. The 2008 Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act was viewed as a possible means of improving access by eliminating differences between behavioral health and medical/surgical benefits. We examined whether the legislation was associated with increased use of and spending on mental health care and functional services for children with autism spectrum disorder compared to the period prior to implementation of the law.”
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For Seriously Ill Prisoners, Consider Evidence-Based Compassionate Release Policies

Health Affairs Blog, 6 February 2017
Authors: Brie Williams, Alex Rothman, Cyrus Ahalt
“There are powerful moral arguments for releasing some prisoners of very advanced age or with serious life-limiting illness. But compassionate release also makes sense from an economic and a public safety perspective.”
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Travel ban threatens medical research and access to care in the US, medical groups warn

BMJ 2017; 356:j545
Author: Michael McCarthy
“President Donald Trump’s executive order banning nationals from seven Muslim majority nations, as well as all refugees, from entering the county threatens to damage the quality of medical research and healthcare in the US, medical groups and academic centers have warned.”
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Mr. Trump’s ‘Gag Rule’ Will Harm Global Health

NYT, 26 January 2017
Author: The Editorial Board
“With a single memorandum, President Trump may well have made it harder for health workers around the world to fight cancer, H.I.V., Zika and Ebola. The memorandum, signed on Monday, reinstates and expands a policy barring health organizations abroad, many of which provide an array of services, from receiving federal funds if they even talk to women about abortion as a method of family planning.”
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Tobacco elimination: an economic and public health imperative

The Lancet, 389(10066), p225, 2017
Source: Editorial, The Lancet
“Last week, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the US National Institutes of Health, in collaboration with WHO, released The Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control—the 21st volume in a series of monographs on tobacco control produced from the NCI. The almost 700-page report contains an impressive body of work from more than 60 authors worldwide. It provides a comprehensive summary of the latest evidence and research, and what needs to be done on two areas. First, the economics of tobacco control, including tobacco use and growing, manufacturing and trade, and tobacco control interventions and policies to reduce tobacco consumption and its effects on health and disease burden. Second, the economic implications of global tobacco control efforts since the coming into force of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2005. Will this report make a difference?”
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