Thursday, 22 February 2018

Pulling back the curtain on money in medicine and other news and views

Ontario law to require drug firms to disclose payments to doctors’ groups, patient advocates - behind a paywall at the Globe and Mail
Pharmaceutical companies will have to reveal in detail the payments they make to patientadvocacy groups and professional medical societies in Ontario as part of the province’s efforts to pull back the curtain on money in medicine.
The lack of transparency has meant that health charities and non-profits have had no mandatory obligation to reveal which companies are funding them and in what amounts.
Right now, Canadian patient advocacy groups can disclose as much or as little as they like about the donations they receive from drug or device makers. ...
The news that patient groups and doctors’ associations will fall under Ontario’s legislation comes less than two weeks after a U.S. Senate report revealed that five major opioid makers gave more than US$10-million to third-party advocacy groups and physicians affiliated with them over a fiveyear period.
The U.S. patient groups often parroted the industry’s goals, lobbying against prescribing restrictions for the powerful painkillers at the root of the opioid-overdose epidemic, according to the report from Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill.
It's official: antidepressants are not snake oil or a conspiracy – they work - The Guardian
A groundbreaking new study shows antidepressants are effective – we should get on with taking and prescribing them
Twitter bars tactics used by 'bots' to spread false stories - Reuters
Twitter Inc said on Wednesday it would no longer allow people to post identical messages from multiple accounts, cracking down on a tactic that Russian agents and others have allegedly used to make tweets or topics go viral.
Kurds Asking For Help From Syrian Forces To Repel Turkish Attacks In Syrian War - NPR
The Syrian war has taken a new twist as Kurds have asked for help from Syrian forces to repel Turkish attacks. It's an area where the U.S., Iran and Russia are already on the ground backing various sides.
More Than Twice As Many Women Are Running For Congress In 2018 Compared With 2016 - NPR
At latest count, 431 women were running for or were likely to run for the House nationwide — 339 Democrats and 92 Republicans. At this point in 2016, there were fewer than half that: 212. Likewise, 50 women are running for or likely to run for Senate, compared with 25 at this point in 2016. Many have not officially filed for office yet — filing deadlines have not occurred in many states. But thus far, this year is on track to break records.

Kushner is asking people to advocate on his behalf. McMaster is lobbying Mike Pompeo and Dan Coats to support Kelly. But in the end, it’s all up to Trump.
The Return of a Forgotten Killer - Project Syndicate
In the last two centuries, tuberculosis has claimed more lives than any other disease: an unprecedented and unsurpassed death toll of one billion. And, despite a compelling economic and moral case for investing more in controlling the disease, it has quietly resumed its position as the world’s leading infectious killer.

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