California governor signs drug pricing transparency law

Reuters, 10 October 2017
Author: Bill Berkrot
“California Governor Jerry Brown on Monday signed state legislation requiring drug companies to report certain price hikes for prescription medicines in a move that could set a model for other states to follow. The law, which aims to provide more transparency around pharmaceutical and biotech company pricing methods for their medicines, requires drug manufacturers to give a 60-day notice if prices are raised more than 16 percent over a two-year period. The law also requires health plans and insurers to file annual reports outlining how drug costs affect healthcare premiums in California.”
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U.S. judge clears way for Maryland drug price-gouging law

Reuters, 30 September 2017
Author: Deena Beasley
“A U.S. District Court judge on Friday cleared the way for Maryland to implement the nation’s first law designed to penalize drugmakers for price gouging by denying the generic drug industry trade group’s request for an injunction.”
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Mother who refuses to follow court order to vaccinate son: ‘Most likely, I’ll be going to jail’

SMH, 30 September 2017
Author: Kristine Phillips
“The American Medical Association has long decried allowing parents to decline vaccination for nonmedical reasons and has cited vaccines’ ability to prevent diseases such as measles, mumps and other infectious diseases. Still, a majority of states allow religious exemptions for vaccinations. Nearly 20, including Michigan, provide exemption for religious and personal reasons. Only three, California, Mississippi and West Virginia, don’t allow nonmedical exemptions.”
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The Role of Courts in Shaping Health Equity

Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 2017, 42(5): 749-770
Author: Mark A Hall
“Over the past fifty years, courts have played a limited, yet key, role in shaping health equity in the United States in three areas of law: racial discrimination, disability discrimination, and constitutional rights. In this article, I examine in various ways the roads courts have taken, the roads not taken, and possible future paths.”
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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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Evolving State-Based Contraceptive and Abortion Policies

JAMA. 2017; 317(24): 2481-2482
Authors: Divya Mallampati, Melissa A. Simon, Elizabeth Janiak
“This Viewpoint discusses the importance of US state-based contraceptive and abortion policies given renewed focus by the Trump administration on restrictions to federal funding for reproductive services.”
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FDA moves to prevent Pharma from ‘gaming’ generic drug system

Reuters, 21 June 2017
Author: Toni Clarke
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration moved on Wednesday to prevent pharmaceutical companies from “gaming” the system to block or delay entry of generic rivals. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a blog post that the agency plans to hold a public meeting on July 18 to identify ways pharmaceutical companies are using FDA rules to place obstacles in the way of generic competition. The move comes as the President and lawmakers in Congress search for ways to lower the cost of prescription drugs.”
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Legislature passes bill to rein in drug company perks for doctors

Press Herald, 20 June 2017
Author: Joe Lawlor
“A bill that would curtail gifts, speaking and consulting fees and expensive food flowing from pharmaceutical companies to doctors has passed the Legislature and awaits the signature of Gov. Paul LePage. the goal of the bill is to ensure doctors do not have conflicting interests when prescribing drugs – especially opioids – since Maine is in the midst of an opioid crisis. Maine had 376 drug overdose deaths in 2016 – an average of about one per day – an all-time high and 40 percent higher than in 2015.”
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