Planned Parenthood forced to close four clinics in Iowa after funding cut

The Guardian, 19 May 2017
Author: Molly Redden
“An aggressive campaign by Iowa lawmakers to strip Planned Parenthood of much of its public funding will force it to close four clinics serving 15,000 patients, the women’s health group said on Thursday. Individual states have made piecemeal efforts to block Planned Parenthood from receiving public funds meant to help states provide low-income women with STI tests, contraception, and cancer screenings. For Iowa, the closures mean that women on Medicaid in four cities – Burlington, Keokuk, Sioux City, and the Quad Cities – will have one less option for family planning services, such as contraception, covered by their insurance.”
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Duterte Orders Strict Smoking Ban in Philippines, and Asks Citizens to Help

NYT, 18 May 2017
Author: Felipe Villamor
“President Rodrigo Duterte, who has overseen a deadly campaign to eradicate drug use in the Philippines, has now ordered a strict public ban on smoking and called on citizens to help the local authorities apprehend smokers. The executive order, signed this week and made public on Thursday, forbids the use of tobacco, including electronic cigarettes, in all public spaces, even sidewalks. It also prohibits anyone under 18 from “using, selling or buying cigarettes or tobacco products.” More than a quarter of Filipinos smoke, according to a 2015 World Health Organization report, including 11 percent of minors.”
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Novartis, slammed by Korean scandal, tweaks its ethics, compliance policies

FiercePharma, 15 May 2017
Author: Eric Sagonowsky
“Rocked by a corruption scandal in Korea and facing a kickbacks probe in Greece, Novartis says it’s strengthening and simplifying its global ethics and compliance approach. Last month, Korean authorities handed out a $50 million fine and suspended coverage on several Novartis meds in relation to a bribery probe in the country. Novartis employees conducted a kickbacks scheme through medical journal-sponsored meetings, with the total spent on bribes estimated to be $2.3 million, according to officials. Last year, Novartis agreed to a $25 million settlement with U.S. authorities to put to rest a bribery investigation in China.”
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Italy is set to make vaccinations for school children compulsory

The Independent, 16 May 2017
Author: Harriet Agerholm
“Italy is set to ban non-vaccinated children from starting state schools “by the end of next week”, according to the country’s health minister. Revealing the plan, Ms Lorenzin said the fall in vaccinations across Italy was “an emergency generated by fake news”. Cases of measles rose more than fivefold across Italy in April compared to the same month last year, according to National Health Institute figures. Health authorities issued repeated warnings over a rise of infectious diseases in the country, as a movement against vaccinations grew.”
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Man XXX Herbal capsules pose a serious risk

TGA, 12 May 2017
Source: TGA
“Man XXX Herbal capsules pose a serious risk to your health and should not be taken. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has tested a product labelled Man XXX Herbal capsules and found that: the capsules contain the undeclared substance levodopa and consumers are advised that levodopa is a prescription-only substance in Australia. Man XXX Herbal capsules have not been assessed by the TGA for quality, safety or efficacy as required under Australian legislation, and the place of manufacture is not approved by the TGA. The investigations have shown that a number of people in Australia may have bought the product online.”
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Legal Complexities of Global Vaccine Compensation Systems—Reply

JAMA 2017; 317(18):1912.
Authors: Sam F. Halabi; Saad B. Omer
“In Reply. Ms Mastroianni and Dr Henry question statements in our Viewpoint justifying no-fault compensation schemes for injuries associated with vaccines administered as part of routine clinical practice and in nonemergency situations while using as examples experimental vaccines available during times of public health emergencies. They further suggest that we have not addressed the legal complexities involved in the case of maternal immunization.”
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Legal Complexities of Global Vaccine Compensation Systems

JAMA 2017; 317(18):1911-1912.
Authors: Anna C. Mastroianni; Leslie Meltzer Henry
“To the Editor. Mr Halabi and Dr Omer proposed the creation of a global vaccine injury compensation program. Although there is a need for a mechanism to address the liability concerns of vaccine manufacturers and ensure fair treatment of individuals with vaccine-related injuries, the authors failed to attend to legal complexities inherent in their proposal.”
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The Unusual Case of Ian Paterson and Criminally Harmful Surgery

BMJ Blog, 9 May 2017
Author: Iain Brassington
“The “obscure motives” that compelled Paterson may forever remain a mystery but it is interesting that the charges against him relate only to patients he treated in his private practice. This enabled the prosecution to create a narrative that suggested that financial gain could have been the motivating factor for Paterson’s crimes. Without greed as a possible motive his actions are baffling, and the prosecution’s case, in alleging that surgery which Paterson argued was performed in the patient’s best interests actually constituted GBH or unlawful wounding, would be more challenging because of the medical context of the allegations. Importantly, the medical exception to the criminal law – the principle that consensual surgery carried out by qualified professionals is legitimate (“proper medical treatment”) – means that there is an assumption that harm caused by surgery is not a matter for the criminal law because it is a risk that we accept in order to enjoy the benefits of surgical medicine.”
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Alzheimer’s experts call for changes in FDA drug approval standards

EurekAlert, 11 May 2017
Source: Researchersagainstalzheimer’s
“Leading Alzheimer’s disease researchers and a prominent patient advocate today published an analysis, “Single Endpoint for New Drug Approvals for Alzheimer’s Disease,” urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to clarify and modernize its current approach for approving new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. The analysis recommends that the FDA approve new medicines that demonstrate a proven benefit on at least one therapeutic endpoint – either cognition or function. The current FDA standards require a new drug to show benefits on both proven endpoints.”
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Illinois lawmakers delay bill to expand abortion as veto looms

Reuters, 11 May 2017
Author: Timothy Mclaughlin
“Democratic lawmakers in Illinois on Thursday said they have placed on hold a bill that expands state-funded coverage of abortions for low-income residents and state employees but faces a likely veto from the state’s Republican governor. The bill also aims to keep abortions legal in Illinois. The Illinois’ Medicaid program covers abortions in cases of rape, incest and when a mother’s life or health is threatened. The expansion would enable poor women to obtain elective abortions. Also, the legislation would allow state employees to have the procedures covered under state health insurance.”
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