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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Increase in distance to nearest abortion facility in Texas associated with decline in abortions

EurekAlert, 19 January 2017
Source: The Jama Network Journals
“In Texas counties without an abortion facility in 2014, an increase in distance to the nearest facility was associated with a decline in abortions between 2012 and 2014, according to a study published online by JAMA. Texas House Bill 2, enacted in 2013, was one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2016 that two provisions were unconstitutional. Following introduction and passage of the bill, the number of Texas facilities providing abortions declined, from 41 in 2012 to 17 in June 2016. Overall, abortions declined 14 percent in Texas between 2013 and 2014.”
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U.S. judge blocks rule on financial assistance for dialysis patients

Reuters, 12 January 2017
Author: Brendan Pierson
“A U.S. judge on Thursday put on hold a new federal rule that dialysis providers have said would prevent dialysis patients from using charitable assistance to buy private health insurance. U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant in Sherman, Texas stopped the rule from taking effect Friday as planned. The decision is a victory for dialysis providers Fresenius Medical Care, DaVita Inc and U.S. Renal Care Inc, which filed a lawsuit to block the rule last week.”
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Pharma company executives debate drug pricing increases

Reuters, 12 January 2017
Author: Deena Beasley
“Grappling with a backlash against high U.S. prescription drug prices, more pharmaceutical companies are pledging to limit annual increases to under 10 percent – but the tactic is doing little to salve critics, including President-elect Donald Trump, who on Wednesday said drugmakers are “getting away with murder. Recent high-profile price hikes by Mylan NV, Turing Pharmaceuticals and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc have raised the ire of consumers and lawmakers.”
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