WHO issues ethics guidance to protect rights of TB patients

WHO, 22 March 2017
“New tuberculosis (TB) ethics guidance, launched today by the World Health Organization (WHO), aims to help ensure that countries implementing the End TB Strategy adhere to sound ethical standards to protect the rights of all those affected.”
Find news release here.

What Can US Policymakers Learn About Essential Health Benefits From Israel?

Health Affairs Blog, 23 March 2017
Authors: Rachel Nisanhotz, David Chinitz, Sara Rosenbaum
“US policymakers confronting these complex questions could benefit from a close look at how other health systems approach them. In particular, it may surprise readers to know that Israel has a system very much in line with many US policymakers’ goals of fostering a competitive private insurance market. The Israeli system rests on the concept of competing private health plans selling care in a market of empowered consumers. But one crucial difference is how Israel approaches the question of what it means to be covered.”
Find article here.

Prescription Drug Regulation, Promotion, And Advocacy Has Gotten More Vexing In 2017

Health Affairs Blog, 23 March 2017
Author: Jerry Avorn
“Early 2017 has been one of the most interesting and challenging times for anyone concerned with medication regulation and evidence-based prescribing — as well as for the patients and health care professionals who will be so heavily impacted recent policy changes.”
Find article here.

Scope of practice largely undefined

MJA Insight, 20 March 2017
Author: Sue Ieraci
“Most people working in medicine are familiar with the term “scope of practice”, but many of us may not have thought much about how guidelines are developed or regulated. As more intra- and inter-professional problems occur, however, we may find that the structures for doing so are not as robust as we may hope.”
Find article here.

Push for unity on vaccination laws is just common sense

The Canberra Times, 13 March 2017
Author: David Ellery
“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s call for all states and territories to adopt a uniform stance on barring unvaccinated? children from childcare and preschool facilities makes a great deal of sense. Under current legislation unvaccinated? children in the ACT, along with those in South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory, can be enrolled at these centres.”
Find article here.

First licence granted for commercially grown medicinal cannabis in Australia

Dept of Health, 8 March 2017
“Access to medicinal cannabis has taken another major step forward today with first licence being granted for an Australian company to grow and harvest medicinal cannabis. This major development will lead to improved access to domestically produced medicinal cannabis products for Australian patients.”
Find media release here.

Reproductive Health Under Assault

Health Affairs Blog, 3 March 2017
Author: Aziza Ahmed
“American political, social, and religious history has made abortion a deeply partisan issue. This despite the reality that many women (as well as trans and gender non-conforming individuals) from diverse racial, cultural, class, and religious backgrounds regularly access abortion-related services. The outcome of the 2016 elections has set into motion an expected but nonetheless deeply damaging anti-abortion agenda that is slowly taking form in the Trump administration’s early days — aided by the Republican majority House and Senate. These early moves signal that the new administration aims to roll back gains made toward reproductive justice in 2016.”
Find article here.

Beyond ice: rethinking Australia’s approach to illicit drugs

Med J Aust 2017; 206 (4): 151-152.
Authors: Matthew Y Frei, Alex D Wodak
“The prevailing theme of the Ice Taskforce report was an emphasis on drug treatment over law enforcement measures as a response to ice use. While this recommendation came from the whole Taskforce, it reflects the sentiment of the chair, former Victorian Police Commissioner, Ken Lay. Many others, including serving and retired senior police, are now coming forward to argue that Australia cannot arrest and imprison its way out of its illicit drug problem.”
Find article here.

 

Recreational Cannabis — Minimizing the Health Risks from Legalization

N Engl J Med 2017; 376:705-707
Author: Beau Kilmer
“The cannabis-policy landscape is undergoing dramatic change. Although many jurisdictions have removed criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of cannabis and more than half of U.S. states allow physicians to recommend it to patients, legalizing the supply and possession of cannabis for nonmedical purposes is a very different public policy. Since the November 2016 election, 20% of the U.S. population lives in states that have passed ballot initiatives to allow companies to sell cannabis for any reason and adults 21 or older to purchase it. Although other states may move toward legalization, uncertainty abounds because of the federal prohibition on cannabis.”
Find article here.