Investor group warns U.S. farm antibiotic policy lagging

Reuters, 15 November 2017
Author: Lisa Baertlein
“The United States is falling behind Europe in the fight to curb the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in meat production and experts are warning of the possibility of dangerous drug-resistant “superbug” infections as a result, according to a new report on Tuesday. The World Health Organization (WHO) says the farm sector consumes around 80 percent of all medically important antibiotics in some countries.”
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U.S. top court to hear fight over California pregnancy center law

Reuters, 14 November 2017
Author: Larence Hurley
“The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide whether a California law requiring private facilities that counsel pregnant women against abortion to post signs telling clients how to get state-funded abortions and contraceptives violates free speech rights.”
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Mexico baby death trial reveals growing persecution of women who miscarry

The Guardian, 8 November 2017
Author: David Agren
“McPherson is currently serving a 16-year sentence after she was convicted of homicide for the death of her baby in what she says was a miscarriage. Her case gained national notoriety when court videos surfaced in which the prosecutor described McPherson’s alleged actions as something “not even a dog would do”.”
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Litigation Provides Clues to Ongoing Challenges in Implementing Insurance Parity

Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 2017, 42(6): 1065-1098
Authors: Kelsey N. Berry, Haiden A. Huskamp et al.
“Over the past twenty-five years, thirty-seven states and the US Congress have passed mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) parity laws to secure nondiscriminatory insurance coverage for MH/SUD services in the private health insurance market and through certain public insurance programs. However, in the intervening years, litigation has been brought by numerous parties alleging violations of insurance parity. We examine the critical issues underlying these legal challenges as a framework for understanding the areas in which parity enforcement is lacking, as well as ongoing areas of ambiguity in the interpretation of these laws.”
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U.S. states allege broad generic drug price-fixing collusion

Reuters, 1 November 2017
Author: Karen Freifeld
“A large group of U.S. states accused key players in the generic drug industry of a broad price-fixing conspiracy, moving on Tuesday to widen an earlier lawsuit to add many more drugmakers and medicines in an action that sent some company shares tumbling.”
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Officer of the Law

N Engl J Med 2017; 377:1610-1611
Author: Raphael Rush
“With rare exceptions, I do not have to share patients’ diagnoses with anyone. But in Ontario, patients with any medical condition that might impair their driving must be reported to the provincial Ministry of Transportation. The treating physician has broad discretion to decide what qualifies as potentially impairing. Like many physicians, I advise patients not to drive until the government deems them fit. It’s one of the few legally required breaks of doctor–patient confidentiality. For each report, the provincial insurer pays doctors $36.25.”
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The Boston-Area Pharmacist Involved in a Deadly Meningitis Outbreak Has Been Cleared of Murder

Time, 26 October 2017
Author: Alanna Durkin Richer
“A pharmacist at a facility whose tainted drugs sparked a nationwide meningitis outbreak that killed 76 people was cleared Wednesday of murder but was convicted of mail fraud and racketeering.”
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Undocumented 17-Year-Old Must Delay Abortion, Court Rules

NYT, 21 October 2017
Author: Christina Caron
“An undocumented 17-year-old caught in a legal standoff with the federal government must further delay plans for an abortion after an appeals court ruled on Friday that the Department of Health and Human Services had 11 days to find a sponsor to take custody of the teenager.”
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Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act: 20 Years of Experience to Inform the Debate

Ann Intern Med. 2017;167(8):579-583.
Authors: Katrina Hedberg, Craig New
“Twenty years ago, Oregon voters approved the Death With Dignity Act, making Oregon the first state in the United States to allow physicians to prescribe medications to be self-administered by terminally ill patients to hasten their death. This report summarizes the experience in Oregon, including the numbers and types of participating patients and providers. These data should inform the ongoing policy debate as additional jurisdictions consider such legislation.”
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