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Category Archives: Health Care

Ebola crisis in West Africa brings hightened focus to need for vaccine

WSJ – Ebola Vaccine Push Ramps Up – After Years of Delay, Researchers Rush to Field Test a Shot to Prevent the Disease

“The world had little interest in Ebola in 1997, which is why cell biologist Nancy J. Sullivan thought she might be able to make a mark. Today, if the scientific world is to have an answer to the world’s severest Ebola outbreak, Dr. Sullivan’s work is likely to be at its center. A senior investigator at the National Institutes of Health’s Vaccine Research Center, Dr. Sullivan has worked for years on a vaccine that has been proven to block Ebola in research monkeys. NIH is now racing to telescope what would have been a five- to 10-year testing plan into a few months. The vaccine is scheduled to undergo full human testing by early 2015 and could be in use potentially in time to help stem the disease in stricken West Africa. There is no assurance this vaccine will work. It has competition from at least one other vaccine, which is running a month or more behind, being tested by the Public Health Agency of Canada and NewLink Genetics Corp. Either one might stop Ebola, or neither. Experimental Ebola drugs are in the works to help treat existing cases. But these are generally in short supply, whereas GlaxoSmithKline PLC, which would be the manufacturer, thinks it could have one million doses of Dr. Sullivan’s vaccine available next year. That means, if all goes well, it could act as a firewall around a raging epidemic.”

CRS – Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Resources for Frequently Asked Questions, Angela Napili, Information Research Specialist, October 10, 2014. “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L. 111-148, as amended) has numerous provisions affecting private health insurance and public health coverage programs. Many of these provisions take effect in 2014. This report provides resources to help congressionalContinue Reading

Billions in Losses if Ebola Not Stopped

“With the latest death toll from Ebola now at 3,439 in the three worst-affected countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, a new economic impact assessment from the World Bank Group says that if the epidemic was to significantly infect people in neighboring countries, some of which have much larger economies, the two-year regional financialContinue Reading

Federal and State Quarantine and Isolation Authority

CRS – Federal and State Quarantine and Isolation Authority, Jared P. Cole, Legislative Attorney. October 9, 2014. “In the wake of increasing fears about the spread of highly contagious diseases, federal, state, and local governments have become increasingly aware of the need for a comprehensive public health response to such events. An effective response could include the quarantine of personsContinue Reading

New on LLRX – Clients and Suicide: The Lawyer’s Dilemma

Via LLRX.com – Clients and Suicide: The Lawyer’s Dilemma – Ken Strutin’s article discusses an increasingly visible issue, suicide, here in the specific context of criminal law. He reviews how the stress of prosecution or litigation, whether it means risking a prison term, unemployment, bankruptcy, eviction, broken family relations, isolation, or other serious consequences can create or exacerbateContinue Reading

Questions and Answers about Ebola and Pets

CDC – “The ongoing epidemic of Ebola in West Africa has raised several questions about how the disease affects the animal population, and in particular, the risk to household pets. While the information available suggests that the virus may be found in several kinds of animals, CDC, the US Department of Agriculture, and the AmericanContinue Reading

Motor Vehicle Crash Injuries: Costly but Preventable

CDC Vital Signs: “More than 2.5 million Americans went to the emergency department (ED)—and nearly 200,000 were then hospitalized—for crash injuries in 2012. On average, each crash-related ED visit costs about $3,300 and each hospitalization costs about $57,000 over a person’s lifetime. The best way to keep people safe and reduce medical costs is toContinue Reading

HHS releases 13th Report on Carcinogens

“Four substances have been added in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 13th Report on Carcinogens, a science-based document that identifies chemical, biological, and physical agents that are considered cancer hazards for people living in the United States. The new report includes 243 listings. Ortho-toluidine, used to make rubber chemicals, pesticides, and dyes, hasContinue Reading

Key U.S. Government Agency Positions and Officials in Global Health Policy

Key U.S. Government Agency Positions and Officials in Global Health Policy & Related Areas via Kaiser Family Foundation. See also Web Briefing: The U.S. Global Health Budget Tracker – Sep 11, 2014″The Kaiser Family Foundation has launched a new, interactive, online tool designed to provide the latest data on the U.S. government’s global health budget in an easy-to-access form. The U.S.Continue Reading

Two New CRS Reports on Ebola

The Ebola Outbreak: Select Legal Issues, CRS Legal Sidebar, October 6, 2014: “On August 8th, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The recent arrival in the United States of several health care workers who contracted the disease, combined with the firstContinue Reading

The Global AgeWatch Index 2014

“The world is ageing fast. By 2030, there will be more people over 60 than under 10. Already there are more adults over 60 than children under 5. The Global AgeWatch Index has been developed and constructed by HelpAge International from international data sets drawn from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the World Bank,Continue Reading

Heroin overdose deaths increased in many states through 2012

CDC – “Heroin deaths increased sharply in many states, according to a report of death certificate data from 28 states published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Despite these findings, still more than twice as many people died from prescription opioid overdoses as died from heroinContinue Reading