Suicide and self-harm in prisons hit worst ever levels

The Guardian, 29 June 2017
Author: Rajeev Syal
“Prisons have “struggled to cope” with record rates of suicide and self-harm among inmates following cuts to funding and staff numbers, the public spending watchdog has said. The National Audit Office said it remains unclear how the authorities will meet aims for improving prisoners’ mental health or get value for money because of a lack of relevant data. Auditors said that self-harm incidents increased by 73% between 2012 and 2016 to 40,161, while the 120 self-inflicted deaths in prison in 2016 was the highest figure on record and almost double that for 2012.”
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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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Communities losing ground in war against liquor giants: experts

ABC, 30 June 2017
Author: Sophie Scott
“More than three quarters of court cases where local communities are against big alcohol stores being built are being thrown out because judges do not have to consider the health impacts of planning decisions. In the first study of its kind, researchers from the Sax Institute and the George Institute for Global Health found that in more than 75 per cent of cases across Australia, the courts found in favour of the alcohol industry. Currently, researchers said courts could consider competition and noise issues but not public health and family violence impacts.”
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Zika vaccine research: guidance for including pregnant women

Wellcome Trust, 29 June 2017
Source: Wellcome
“Zika infection in pregnancy can have devastating effects on normal fetal development. But pregnant women are often automatically excluded from vaccine trials over safety concerns. New guidance for including pregnant woman and their babies in Zika vaccine research has been published today. The guidelines argue that those most at risk from the virus – pregnant women and their babies – should be at the centre of Zika vaccine development.”
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111 People Ended Their Lives in 6 Months Under California’s New Right-to-Die Law

Fortune, 28 June 2017
Author: Sy Mukherjee
“In 2016, California became the sixth state to enact a “right-to-die” or physician-assisted suicide law (Washington, D.C. also has one in place). Health officials from the Golden State now report that 111 terminally ill patients used the law to legally end their lives in its first six months. 59 people who requested life-ending medication didn’t wind up taking it by the end of 2016 (21 others died without taking the drugs in the first place).”
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Guam abortion reporting requirements may conflict with federal privacy laws

PacificDailyNews, 27 June 2017
Author: Haidee V Eugenio
“A law passed late last year toughens mandatory reporting requirements for abortions on Guam, but the Department of Public Health and Social Services has not verified whether the requirements are being followed, citing a possible conflict with federal medical privacy laws. The federal law includes a privacy provision that limits the disclosure of patient information without the patient’s approval.”
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Merck hack part of a massive global attack

Philly.com, 27 June 2017
Author: Chris Mondics
“A massive ransomware attack Tuesday took down computers across the globe, including the systems of the pharmaceutical firm Merck & Co., which has extensive operations in the Philadelphia area. The attack was detected at computers in Merck facilities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey around 8 a.m., and the company acknowledged it a few hours later. The attack on Merck was part of a larger digital assault worldwide.”
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Joint United Nations statement on ending discrimination in health care settings

WHO, 27 June 2017
Source: World Health Organization
“United Nations entities recall that a central principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to “ensure that no one is left behind” and to “reach the furthest behind first”. Recognizing that discrimination in health care settings is a major barrier to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), United Nations entities commit to working together to support Member States in taking coordinated multisectoral action to eliminate discrimination in health care settings. Discrimination in health care settings is widespread across the world and takes many forms. It violates the most fundamental human rights protected in international treaties and in national laws and constitutions.”
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Euthanasia survey hints at support from doctors, nurses and division

SMH, 24 June 2017
Author: James Robertson
“Most NSW doctors and nurses support a controversial medical euthanasia bill headed for Parliament, according to research that could prompt new debate about the medical fraternity’s willingness to accept changes to assisted suicide laws. A bill, to allow patients to apply for medically assisted euthanasia in specific circumstances when older than 25, will be introduced to the NSW upper house in August for a conscience vote. About 60 per cent of doctors support the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill and fewer than 30 per cent oppose it.”
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Vectura signs deal with Novartis for generic U.S. lung therapy

Reuters, 28 June 2017
Authors: Esha Vaish and Martina D’Couto
“Vectura Group Plc said on Wednesday it has signed an exclusive deal with Sandoz AG, a unit of Swiss drugmaker Novartis, to develop a generic copy of an existing combined lung therapy for the U.S. market. British drugmaker Vectura has been trying to build a specialized lung drug business since it merged with Skypeharma last year. However, the firm hasn’t had it easy, following delays in its generic drug with Hikma coming onto the market, a royalties row with GSK, and delays in Novartis launching its Ultibro inhaler in the U.S. The therapy, which is expected to seek regulatory approval and then be launched in the early to mid-2020.”
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