Viewing Health Equity through a Legal Lens: Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 2017, 42(5): 771-788
Authors: Sara Rosenbaum, Sara Schmucker
“Enacted as part of the watershed Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VI prohibits discrimination by federally assisted entities on the basis of race, color, or national origin. Indeed, the law is as broad as federal funding across the full range of programs and services that affect health. Over the years, governmental enforcement efforts have waxed and waned, and private litigants have confronted barriers to directly invoking its protections. But Title VI endures as the formal mechanism by which the nation rejects discrimination within federally funded programs and services.”
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‘Shocking’ disregard for safety in U.S. meningitis case -prosecutor

Reuters, 21 September 2017
Author: Nate Raymond
“A federal prosecutor on Tuesday accused a Massachusetts pharmacist charged with murder for his role in a deadly 2012 U.S. meningitis outbreak of showing a “shocking” disregard for patients’ lives, while his lawyer argued the man was no killer.”
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Direct-to-Consumer Medical Testing in the Era of Value-Based Care

JAMA. 2017; 317(24): 2485-2486.
Author: Kimberly Lovett Rockwell
“This Viewpoint documents the growing market share of direct-to-consumer (DTC) medical testing despite growing recognition that it represents low-value or harmful care and proposes policy options to increase accountability and protect patients from adverse consequences of DTC testing.”
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The case for an Indigenous Bioethics

Global Bioethics Blog, 25 June 2017
Author: Stuart Rennie
“Indigenous communities in the Americas experience a disproportionate incidence of illness and disease compared to the general population. They also possess sophisticated ethical traditions which diverge and not infrequently conflict with Western-oriented bioethics. This culture gap between patient, provider and ethicist is no small public health concern—it can foster feelings of alienation and distrust which compromise the relationship between those in need of care and those able to offer it. Research ethicists have already made considerable efforts to bring sensitivity for aboriginal cultural mores into their discipline, but bioethicists have been slower out of the gate.”
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Pharmaceutical Marketing for Rare Diseases: Regulating Drug Company Promotion in an Era of Unprecedented Advertisement

JAMA. 2017; 317(24): 2479-2480.
Authors: Sham Mailankody, Vinay Prasad
“This Viewpoint uses the recent instance of disease awareness promotion on a television soap opera to discuss questions about the role and regulation of novel forms of direct-to-consumer disease awareness marketing.”
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Homeopathy company investigated over ebook advocating treatment of babies

The Guardian, 30 June 2017
Author: Melissa Davey
“Australia’s drug regulator is investigating the promotion of an ebook that advocates homeopathic treatment for babies and toddlers, against all scientific evidence. Brauer, one of Australia’s largest homeopathy companies, promotes the Little Book of Natural Medicines for Children on its website. The book is available for download, and the website promotes the efficacy of homeopathic products. In 2015 the National Health and Medical Research Council reviewed 225 research papers on homeopathy and found it was not effective for treating any health condition.”
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NHS prescribed record number of antidepressants last year

The Guardian, 30 June 2017
Author: Denis Campbell
“The NHS prescribed a record number of antidepressants last year, fuelling an upward trend that has seen the number of pills given to patients more than double over the last decade. The figures raised questions over whether the rise shows doctors are handing out the drugs out too freely or whether it means more people are getting help to tackle their anxiety, depression and panic attacks. Prescriptions for 64.7m items of antidepressants – an all-time high – were dispensed in England in 2016.”
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Stigma and lack of awareness stop young people testing for sexually transmitted infections

The Conversation, 29 June 2017
Author: Hayley Denison
“Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have afflicted humans for as long as records exist, but despite significant medical advances, we are not managing to keep them at bay. Instead, we see rising infection rates and even the re-emergence of some old foes, including syphilis. Young people are disproportionately affected by STIs. In New Zealand, 67% of chlamydia cases and 57% of gonorrhoea cases are among people between the ages of 15 and 24. This is not solely due to sexual behaviour. Researchers identified several barriers that stop young people from being tested for STIs.”
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