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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California Doctors Again Press For More Money To Treat Poor Patients

KHN, 30 March 2017
Author: Barbara Feder Ostrov
“California’s doctors and dentists have renewed their push for more money to treat Medicaid patients now that the state has been spared the drastic cuts proposed under the failed GOP health care bill. Some health advocates say they have other priorities for improving the low-income health program, which serves some 14 million residents, or about a third of the state’s population.”
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“I’m Willing To Try Anything”: Compassionate Use Access To Experimental Drugs And The Misguided Mission Of Right-To-Try Laws

Health Affairs Blog, 27 March 2017
Authors: Amy Scharf, Elizabeth Dzeng
“Beneath its seemingly altruistic and uncontroversial veneer, the Compassionate Use program has been a lightning rod for intense legal, legislative, and public policy controversies, many of which have been framed as ‘libertarian vs. regulatory’ battles between those who wish to allow patients freer, even unrestricted, access to experimental drugs (often by changing or limiting the role of the FDA), and those who prefer a more measured, rigorous approach to dispensing unproven and potentially dangerous therapies.”
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Trump’s Promise To Rein In Drug Prices Could Open Floodgate To Importation Laws

KHN, 22 March 2017
Author: Rachel Bluth
“With prescription drug prices soaring, an old idea is gaining fresh traction: allowing Americans to buy medicines from foreign pharmacies at far lower prices. A new bill in Congress to allow the practice would modify previous safety standards and remove a barrier that proved insurmountable in past attempts to enable progress.”
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Prisoners are excluded from the NDIS – here’s why it matters

The Conversation, 14 March 2017
Author: Jesse Young, Stuart Kinner
“The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is designed to provide access to personalised supports and services for all Australians with a disability. However, the NDIS specifically excludes prisoners.”
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Cost of kidney dialysis poses ethical dilemma in sub-Saharan Africa

Reuters, 9 March 2017
Author: Ronnie Cohen
“Up to one-fourth of adults in sub-Saharan Africa suffer from chronic kidney disease and only a small fraction ever reach a dialysis treatment center, a new study finds. Of those who did begin dialysis, most quit, usually within two weeks, because they could not afford to continue, and 88 percent died, the research found. Quitting dialysis almost always proved fatal.”
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Patients Demand The ‘Right To Try’ Experimental Drugs, But Costs Can Be Steep

NPR, 3 March 2017
Author: Carrie Feibel
“In the last three years, 33 U.S. states have passed laws aimed at helping dying people get easier access to experimental treatments that are still in the early stages of human testing. Supporters say these patients are just looking for the right to try these treatments. Such laws sound compassionate, but medical ethicists warn they pose worrisome risks to the health and finances of vulnerable patients.”
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Pediatric Drug Formulations — Unintended Consequences of Legislation

N Engl J Med 2017; 376:795-796
Authors: Luke A. Probst, Thomas R. Welch
“The media have been replete with reports of ways in which the pharmaceutical industry has been able to increase revenue from medications that have been available for decades. We report a new variation of particular consequence to pediatricians and children.”
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