Drug Makers Accused of Fixing Prices on Insulin

NYT, 30 January 2017
Author: Katie Thomas
“A lawsuit filed Monday accused three makers of insulin of conspiring to drive up the prices of their lifesaving drugs, harming patients who were being asked to pay for a growing share of their drug bills. The price of insulin has skyrocketed in recent years, with the three manufacturers — Sanofi, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly — raising the list prices of their products in near lock step, prompting outcry from patient groups and doctors who have pointed out that the rising prices appear to have little to do with increased production costs.”
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Voluntary euthanasia laws to come before NSW Parliament this year

SMH, 16 January 2017
Authors: Sean Nicholls, Kate Aubusson
“NSW is set to debate whether to allow terminally ill adults to legally end their lives, with a voluntary assisted dying bill expected to come before Parliament this year. A cross-party working group is finalising draft legislation that it intends to release for public consultation as early as next month.”
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Let’s talk about the right to food

The BMJ Blog,10 January 2017
Authors: Jose Luis Vivero-Pol, Tomaso Ferrando
“Legal recognition of the right to food and nutrition can create the grounds for effective and systemic solutions for hunger and malnutrition. Recently, the media was abuzz with news of plans by the Scottish Equalities Secretary to legislate the right to food within Scottish law. This would be a step towards tackling food poverty in Scotland. This potential legislation will be historic, as Scotland will be the first country in the European Union (EU) to expressly recognize the right to food.”
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France introduces opt-out policy on organ donation

The Guardian, 3 January 2017
Author: Kim Willsher
“France has reversed its policy on organ donations so that all people could become donors on their death unless they join an official register to opt out. The new law presumes consent for organs to be removed, even if it goes against the wishes of the family. Until 1 January, when the legislation took effect, unless the person who had died had previously expressed a clear wish for or against donation, doctors were required to consult relatives who, in almost a third of cases, refused.”
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MP and former GP challenges Uruguay’s compulsory breast screening programme

BMJ 2016;355:i6624
Author: Sophie Arie
“Uruguay’s government is being challenged to end its compulsory breast screening programme, after a court ruled that one woman with concerns about possible harms caused by mammography should be exempt. On 6 December Daniel Radio, a deputy in the opposition Independent party and a former GP, presented a bill to parliament for legislation to ensure that women are asked for their informed consent to undergo screening for breast cancer and are not penalised if they refuse to give it.”
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Should family members of those with mental illness have access to their health information?

The Conversation, 8 November 2016
Author: Rachel Yates
“The tragic death of former Adelaide Crows’ coach Phil Walsh, killed by his son Cy suffering from a mental illness, has highlighted the difficulties faced by families of those with mental health issues. Phil Walsh’s wife Meredith emphasised her family’s struggle under current laws in accessing information to support their son. She called for the law to be changed to allow families better access to treatment information.”
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Medicinal cannabis now legal after law change comes into effect

SMH, 29 October 2016
Author: Andrew Brown
“It will now be legal to grow medicinal cannabis, as new laws come into effect across the country on Sunday. The law change will allow for the Office of Drug Control (ODC) to accept licences to cultivate cannabis for medical reasons.”
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