Doctors blame media for scaring patients off vaginal mesh implants

The Guardian, 6 October 2017
Author: Melissa Davey
“Inaccurate media reporting about vaginal mesh implants and the lawsuits associated with them has caused patients to become fearful of mesh procedures that may be essential to improving their health, New Zealand general surgeon Dr Steven Kelly says.”
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Knowles v Pharmacy Council of NSW

Decision date: 25 September 2017
“CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL – Occupational Division – Stay – additional principle in NSW – protection of health and safety of the public the paramount consideration. In the January 2017 Decision, the Council found that, given a lack of adherence to accepted guidelines and the lack of substantive evidence about the safety and efficacy of certain drugs in humans, the applicant’s practice in relation to the dispensing of peptides was not within accepted standards nor compliant with the Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA)’s Guidelines on Compounding Medicines (the PBA Guidelines) or otherwise met the public interest.”
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As Victorian MPs debate assisted dying, it is vital they examine the evidence, not just the rhetoric

The Conversation, 20 September 2017
Authors: Ben White, Andrew McGee, Lindy WIllmott
“A starting point is to distinguish between claims that something should or should not happen (a moral claim about right and wrong), and claims that something is or is not happening (a factual or empirical claim). This distinction matters, because what justifies each type of claim is different.”
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The United Kingdom Sets Limits on Experimental Treatments: The Case of Charlie Gard

JAMA. 2017;318(11):1001-1002
Author: Robert D. Truog
“The case of Charlie Gard in London, England, has been the focus of international attention, generating polarized views about the use of experimental treatments. On one side are those who hold that patients should be able to purchase whatever treatments they desire and can afford; on the other are those who maintain that governments must play a regulatory role in protecting patients from harm and that unproven therapies must meet a threshold of scientific validity before they are offered, regardless of the ability of the patient to pay.”
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Should research ethics committees police reporting bias?

BMJ 2017; 356: j1501
Authors: Simon E Kolstoe, Daniel R Shanahan, Janet Wisely
“Progress through the application of science cannot be achieved if the results of scientific studies are not communicated appropriately. This is particularly relevant in medical research, where experiments are often conducted on human volunteers. Expensive new innovations cannot be produced without returns for investigators, but the distortion of the evidence base by long term withholding of data, either for financial gain or simply through negligence, can do real harm to patients.”
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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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Prescription Drug Regulation, Promotion, And Advocacy Has Gotten More Vexing In 2017

Health Affairs Blog, 23 March 2017
Author: Jerry Avorn
“Early 2017 has been one of the most interesting and challenging times for anyone concerned with medication regulation and evidence-based prescribing — as well as for the patients and health care professionals who will be so heavily impacted recent policy changes.”
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Scope of practice largely undefined

MJA Insight, 20 March 2017
Author: Sue Ieraci
“Most people working in medicine are familiar with the term “scope of practice”, but many of us may not have thought much about how guidelines are developed or regulated. As more intra- and inter-professional problems occur, however, we may find that the structures for doing so are not as robust as we may hope.”
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Conflict of Interest in Seminal Hepatitis C Virus and Cholesterol Management Guidelines

JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(3):352-357.
Authors: Akilah A. Jefferson, Steven D. Pearson
“Neither the cholesterol guideline nor the hepatitis C virus guideline fully met the IOM standards for commercial COI management, and discordance between committee leader guideline disclosures and those in contemporaneous articles was common. Adherence to additional IOM standards for guideline development and evidence review was mixed. Adoption of consistent COI frameworks across specialty societies may help ensure that clinical guidelines are developed in a transparent and trustworthy manner.”
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