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.

Trump’s Promise To Rein In Drug Prices Could Open Floodgate To Importation Laws

KHN, 22 March 2017
Author: Rachel Bluth
“With prescription drug prices soaring, an old idea is gaining fresh traction: allowing Americans to buy medicines from foreign pharmacies at far lower prices. A new bill in Congress to allow the practice would modify previous safety standards and remove a barrier that proved insurmountable in past attempts to enable progress.”
Find article here.

In Pausing Human Research On Zika, Medical Ethicists Acknowledge A Dark Past

Wbur, 21 March 2017
Author: Paul C. McLean
“This was the proposal: Deliberately infect a small group of consenting adults with the Zika virus to learn about the disease and speed up the search for a vaccine. The need is clear. Zika is an emerging global threat to public health. The NIH called for an ethics consultation and asked two essential questions: Can a Zika “human challenge” study be ethically justified? If so, under what conditions? The panel’s answer, in short, was this: The research could be justified, but conditions must be met. Their assessment epitomizes both the grand purpose of bioethics and the broad frustration with it.”
Find article here.”

Many Doctors Get Payments From Drug Companies

MedicineNet, 21 March 2017
Source: HealthDay News
“Many American doctors receive payments from drug companies, but few patients know about those financial ties, a new study finds. The study found that within the previous year, 65 percent of patients visited doctors who got payments or gifts from drug or medical device companies, but only 5 percent of the patients were aware of those doctor-industry links.”
Find article here.

Lawmakers Want To Start Crowdfunding Rape Kit Tests

Forbes, 22 March 2017
Author: Janet Burns
“In response to nationwide backlogs and budgetary woes, state legislators are turning to residents to ensure the cost of testing ‘rape kits’ won’t prevent victims from finding justice. Two bills now working their way through state congresses, the idea of legally facilitated crowdfunding to help reduce evidence backlogs is already seeing bipartisan support.”
Find article here.

Support building for landmark move to overturn El Salvador’s anti-abortion law

The Guardian, 23 March 2017
Author: Nina Lakhani
“El Salvador’s controversial law banning abortion in all circumstances, which has provoked ruthless miscarriages of justice, could be overturned in what has been described as a historic move. Momentum is building around a parliamentary bill proposing to allow abortion in cases of rape or human trafficking; when the foetus in unviable; or to protect the pregnant woman’s health or life. Prominent church groups, doctors, lawyers and ethicists have spoken out in favour of loosening restrictions.”
Find article here.

Swisse cheese: there are too many holes in complementary medicine regulations already

The Conversation, 22 March 2017
Author: Michael Vagg
“Swisse is by no means the only vitamin company to have issues with truth in advertising. Blackmores is another Australian brand with overseas ambitions. They are pushing into the enormous Chinese supplement market, and apparently not letting trivial things like fines for false advertising get in the way of a surging share price. The essential problem here for manufacturers is that they simply have to mislead to sell their product, and our therapeutic claims regulatory code inconveniently forbids this.”
Find article here.

9 Deaths Are Linked to Rare Cancer From Breast Implants

NYT, 21 March 2017
Author: Denise Grady
“A rare cancer first linked to breast implants in 2011 has now been associated with nine deaths, the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday. As of Feb. 1, the agency had received a total of 359 reports of the cancer associated with the implants. The deaths were not caused by breast cancer, the agency said, but by a rare malignancy in the immune system, anaplastic large-cell lymphoma. The agency said it was impossible to say how many cases exist, because of limited reporting of problems and a lack of worldwide sales data on implants.”
Find article here.

NSW hospital patients not told their medical records were found in public areas

ABC, 20 March 2017
Author: Nick Dole
“NSW hospital patients have had their confidential details compromised on multiple occasions, including medical records being found in a public carpark. In many cases, patients were never informed because the Health District said there was not a “serious risk of harm”. The Central Coast Local Health District recorded more than 30 privacy breaches in 2014/15, and in 2015/16 there were 16.”
Find article here.

Treat HIV as a public health matter, not a criminal one

Sfchronicle, 20 March 2017
Author: The San Francisco Chronicle
“Treatment of HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS, has grown by leaps and bounds since the epidemic was at its height in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It’s time for our state law regarding the disease to evolve, too. A bill, SB239, has been introduced that would reduce these penalties to the status of a misdemeanor. The idea is to reduce the stigma and public health problems around HIV by treating it the same way, legally, as other communicable diseases.”
Find article here.