Gorsuch On Sidelines As Supreme Court Decides Insurance, Legal Sanctions Cases

Forbes, 18 April 2017
Author: Daniel Fisher
“The U.S. Supreme Court issued a pair of decisions today affecting legal sanctions and the power of states to control insurance contracts, noting in each one the non-participation of the court’s newest Justice, Neil Gorsuch.”
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Smithfield makes move on market for pig-human transplants

Reuters, 12 April 2017
Authors: Julie Steenhuysen, Michael Hirtzer
“Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, has established a separate bioscience unit to expand its role in supplying pig parts for medical uses, with the ultimate goal of selling pig organs for transplantation into humans. Recent scientific advances for using pigs as a supply of replacement parts for sick or injured people, makes it an attractive new market. Transplants from animals could help close a critical gap to help those in need.”
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‘Gamechanging’ cancer drug rejected for use on NHS

The Guardian, 11 April 2017
Author: Sarah Boseley
“A ‘gamechanging’ immunotherapy drug that can extend the life of patients with advanced head and neck cancer has been turned down for use in the NHS because of its high cost. Although nivolumab drug can give people with advanced head and neck cancers an extra three months of life, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has rejected it. Nice believes nivolumab would cost between £66,000 to £75,000 per year of quality life.”
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Record number of GP closures force 265,000 to find new doctors

The Guardian, 7 April 2017
Author: Sarah Marsh
“A record number of GP practices closed last year, forcing thousands of patients to find a new surgery. NHS England data showed nearly a hundred practices closed in 2016, a 114% increase in GP closures compared with figures from 2014. Of the 92 practices that shut, 58 did so completely, while 34 merged with other local surgeries in order to pool resources. The new data has renewed fears that family doctors are not coping with increased demand and need an urgent cash injection to survive.”
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Modernizing And Strengthening Existing Laws To Control Drug Costs

Health Affairs Blog, 31 March 2017
Authors: Tim Horn, Sean Dickson
“If President Trump truly intends to control drug costs, we offer four proposals that leverage existing drug pricing systems to reduce prices for both public and private payers; in this Blog post, we will describe two of the proposals in depth.”
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NHS accused of waving white flag as it axes 18-week operation target

The Guardian, 31 March 2017
Author: Denis Campbell
“Patients will face longer delays for operations after the NHS decided to shelve one of its most important waiting time targets as part of its ambitious survival plan, which will also result in hundreds of thousands of people being denied surgery. The NHS England’s chief executive, has announced that the NHS is significantly relaxing the requirement on hospitals to treat, within 18 weeks, 92% of all patients in England who are waiting for a hip or knee replacement, cataract removal, hernia repair or other non-urgent operation.”
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26 years ago the UK signed up to formula milk advertising rules – so why isn’t it law yet?

The Conversation, 22 March 2017
Author: Aimee Grant
“Like the topic of infant feeding itself, public health bills can be a minefield. Ask any mum or dad and they will tell you that parenting media in the UK is flooded with potentially misleading advertising for certain formula products. Although, NHS tells mothers that babies who are fed first infant formula need nothing more than that, there is still a wide range of “follow on” formulas available for babies over six months old. So why do manufacturers make these products, and advertise their “health benefits” if children don’t need them?”
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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.”
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Crunch week looms for Sanofi, Roche and GSK at U.S. drugs agency

Reuters, 23 March 2017
Author: Ben Hirschler
“Three of Europe’s top drugmakers face critical verdicts from U.S. regulators next week, with Sanofi and Roche likely to win approvals for two new products, while GlaxoSmithKline braces for a potential generic rival. The two FDA decisions, due by March 28 and 29 respectively, mark important landmarks for both firms, since Dupixent and Ocrevus are expected to be the biggest new drug launches from the global pharmaceuticals industry in 2017.”
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