Free Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 6:00 PM
Lectures and Panels
Wasserstein Hall 1010
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Students from across Harvard are invited to view a free screening of the Academy-award winning film Dallas Buyers Club and participate in…

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Doctors Overlook Lucrative Procedures When Naming Unwise Treatments

Kaiser Health News, April 14, 2014
by Jordan Rau

When America’s joint surgeons were challenged to come up with a list of unnecessary procedures in their field, their selections shared one thing: none significantly impacted their incomes. The American Academy…

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Refusals Cut Options After C-Sections

New York Times, April 14, 2014
by Dan Frosch

CASPER, Wyo. — When Marie Scott, a child-care worker turned stay-at-home mother, found out she was pregnant again last year, she knew she wanted a traditional birth. The cesarean section she’d had…

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Why Most Brazilian Women Get C-Sections

The Atlantic, April 14, 2014
by Olga Khazan

RECIFE, Brazil — When Ivana Borges learned she was pregnant, she told her obstetrician that she wanted a natural birth. Her mother had delivered five children without surgery or medication,…

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Idea of New Attention Disorder Spurs Research, and Debate

New York Times, April 11, 2014
by Alan Schwarz

With more than six million American children having received a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, concern has been rising that the condition is being significantly misdiagnosed and overtreated with…

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Ebola Drug Could Be Ready For Human Testing Next Year

NPR, April 11, 2014
by Richard Harris

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is terrifying because there's no drug to treat this often fatal disease. But the disease is so rare, there's no incentive for big pharmaceutical companies to…

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The Presumption Against Expensive Health Care Consumption

Tulsa Law Review, Vol. 49, Forthcoming, 2014
by Christopher T. Robertson (Affiliate Faculty)

This essay, as part of a symposium in honor of Professor Einer Elhauge, starts with his recognition that, for both epistemic and normative reasons, it remains profoundly difficult to regulate…

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European Union Debates Initiative on Embryo Protection

New York Times, April 10, 2014
by James Kanter

BRUSSELS — A packed hearing on a petition calling for the protection of human embryos led to a rare outbreak of raucous exchanges in the European Parliament on Thursday —…

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Google Glass embraced at Beth Israel Deaconess:

Boston Globe, April 9, 2014
by Callum Borchers

Dr. Steven Horng launched a Google Glass pilot program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center late last year because he thought the futuristic device could help save lives. One night…

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WHO Calls For High-Priced Drugs For Millions With Hepatitis C

NPR, April 9, 2014
by Richard Knox

Authors of the first-ever global guidelines for treating hepatitis C went big Tuesday, advocating for worldwide use of two of the most expensive specialty drugs in the world. The new guidelines from…

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Judge hits state on painkiller ban:

Boston Globe, April 8, 2014
by Milton J. Valencia

A federal judge said Tuesday that she will probably strike down Governor Deval Patrick’s emergency ban on the sale of Zohydro, a controversial painkiller that has been approved by federal…

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Medical Assn Won’t Stop Medicare Doc Data Release

NPR, April 7, 2014
by AP

The nation's largest doctors' group said Monday it won't try to block Medicare's release of billing records for 880,000 physicians, although it continues to oppose the government's recent decision to…

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FDA Grants Breakthrough Therapy Designation To Novartis’ Meningitis B Vaccine

Forbes, April 7, 2014
by David Kroll

Novartis AG in Basel announced early this morning that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Breakthrough Therapy designation – a rapid development track – for potential approval of Bexsero®, their innovative vaccine…

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How Public Health Advocates Are Trying To Reach Nonvaccinators

NPR, April 6, 2014

Whooping cough made a comeback in California last year, which researchers have linked to vaccine refusals. And with new measles outbreaks in Southern California, New York and British Columbia, the debate over…

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Military’s mental-health system faces shortage of providers, lack of good diagnostic tools

Washington Post, April 5, 2014
by Sandhya Somashekhar and Ellen Nakashima

The shooting rampage at Fort Hood has once again focused attention on the military’s ­mental-health system, which, despite improvement efforts, has struggled to address a tide of psychological problems brought…

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Accepting Applications for 2014-2015 Fellows

Accepting Applications for 2014-2015 Fellows
The O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center

Deadline: April 25, 2014

The O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law is seeking exceptionally qualified candidates to serve as O’Neill Institute Law Fellows. Housed at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., the O’Neill Institute is a leading…

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Public Health Law Research (PHLR) Call for Proposals Now Open!

Public Health Law Research (PHLR) Call for Proposals Now Open!

Deadline: April 15, 2014

This will be a single-round proposal call. Applicants are expected to submit a detailed proposal of no more than 23 pages by April 15, 2014. Only short-term studies will be funded, with up to $1.25 million available in this…

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Call for applications: Brocher Summer Academy 2014 Ethical Choices for DALYs and the Measurement of

Call for applications: Brocher Summer Academy 2014 Ethical Choices for DALYs and the Measurement of
Brocher Foundation

Deadline: April 17, 2014

The biennial Summer Academy in the Ethics of Global Population Health is hosted by the Brocher Foundation on the shores of Lake Geneva June 9-13 2014, introducing faculty and advanced graduate students to population-level bioethics. This fast-developing…

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Public Health Advisor

Public Health Advisor
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Department of Health and Human Services

Deadline: April 08, 2014

These positions may be located in any of the offices reporting to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), with vacancies in Washington, DC and Rockville,…

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Big pharma fights back from China scandal (reprint from Financial Times), April 3, 2014
by Andrew Ward and Patti Waldmeir

When Chinese authorities accused GlaxoSmithKline last summer of being the “godfather” at the centre of a network of corruption, big pharma braced for a prolonged period of turmoil in one…

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E-cig rule coming ‘very soon,’ U.S. FDA chief says

Reuters, April 3, 2014

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is "pushing very hard" to release a proposed rule that would establish its authority over e-cigarettes, the head of the agency said on Thursday…

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FDA approves device to combat opioid drug overdose

Washington Post, April 3, 2014
by Brady Dennis

In a move aimed at stemming the tide of deaths caused by the nation’s prescription drug epidemic, the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved a new device that would allow family…

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Mental Health Groups Split on Bill to Overhaul Care

New York Times, April 2, 2014
by Benedict Carey

Lawmakers, patient advocates and the millions of Americans living with a psychiatric diagnosis agree that the nation’s mental health care system is broken, and on Thursday, Congress will hear testimony…

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Burnt Out Primary Care Docs Are Voting With Their Feet

Kaiser Health News, April 1, 2014
by Roni Caryn Rabin

[...] Physician stress has always been a fact of life.  But anecdotal reports and studies suggest a significant increase in the level of discontent-especially among primary care doctors who serve…

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Supreme Court to Hear Appeal of Generic Drug Case

New York Times, March 31, 2014
by Andrew Pollack

As the world’s largest maker of generic drugs, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has been critical of brand-name manufacturers that try to block generic versions of their high-priced medicines. But Teva is…

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What A Small Town’s Teen Pregnancy Turnaround Can Teach The U.S.

NPR, March 30, 2014
by NPR Staff

Thirty years ago, the small town of Denmark, S.C., had one of the state's highest teen pregnancy rates. "We had very young grandparents, grandparents were maybe [in their] 30s," says…

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Project to Improve Poor Children’s Intellect Led to Better Health, Data Show

New York Times, March 27, 2014
by Sabrina Tavernise

In 1972, researchers in North Carolina started following two groups of babies from poor families. In the first group, the children were given full-time day care up to age 5…

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U.S. Appeals Court Upholds Texas’ Restrictive Abortion Law

Al Jazeera America, March 27, 2014

A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld Texas' tough abortion restrictions that have forced the closure of nearly 20 clinics around the state. The court said the new rules don't…

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Suicides Mounting, Golden Gate Looks to Add a Safety Net

New York Times, March 26, 2014
by Carol Pogash

Tourists who lean against the wind as they cross the Golden Gate Bridge may miss the slow-moving woman without a purse or the solo man without a camera or running…

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New Curbs on Drug Use in Animals

Wall Street Journal, March 26, 2014
by Thomas M. Burton and Kelsey Gee

Almost all companies that make animal drugs have agreed to change their labels to curb the use of antibiotics in cattle, pigs and other farm animals, the Food and Drug…

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In California, Chefs Fight For Bare-Hand Contact

NPR, March 23, 2014
by Associated Press

As the happy hour crowd poured in on a recent weeknight, the kitchen and bar staff at Hock Farm restaurant scrambled to meet the incoming orders. One used her hands…

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Selling a Poison by the Barrel:

New York Times, March 23, 2014
by Matt Richtel

A dangerous new form of a powerful stimulant is hitting markets nationwide, for sale by the vial, the gallon and even the barrel. The drug is nicotine, in its potent,…

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Toxic Chemical Dioxane Detected In More Water Supplies

NPR, March 26, 2014
by Elizabeth Shogren

West Virginia's drinking water crisis earlier this year highlighted an unsettling truth about tap water: Treatment plants test for only a fraction of the chemicals in use.

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Disputing Study, U.S. FDA Says Generics From Abroad Safe

Bloomberg News, March 25, 2014
by Anna Edney

A top U.S. regulator is discrediting research published a year ago that found impurities in dozens of generic heart drugs made overseas, saying the investigators contaminated the samples during their…

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Everything You Need to Know about the Healthcare Contraception Mandate

Shape, March 17, 2014
by Cristina Goyanes, interview with Holly Lynch (Petrie-Flom Executive Director)

[...] Starting March 25, the U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing religious disputes over the contraception mandate, which requires employer health insurance coverage of contraceptive methods (without deductibles or co-pays).…

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Google’s Flu Tracker Suffers From Sniffles

NPR, March 13, 2014
by Richard Harris

If you want to know what's up with the flu at the moment, you have a few choices: You can get the latest information at Google Flu Trends. Or you can…

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FDA panel recommends HPV test as replacement for Pap smear

CBS News, March 13, 2014
by Steven Reinberg

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted unanimously on Wednesday that a new HPV test could be used before or instead of the Pap smear as a first…

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Haitians launch new lawsuit against UN over thousands of cholera deaths:

The Guardian, March 11, 2014

The United Nations is facing a huge new lawsuit over the outbreak of cholera in Haiti that has widely been blamed on its peacekeepers, after 1,500 Haitian victims and their…

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Holder calls deaths from heroin overdoses an ‘urgent and growing public health crisis’

Washington Post, March 10, 2014
by Jerry Markon

The Obama administration called attention on Monday to the nationwide surge in heroin abuse, with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. saying a spike in overdoses from the deadly drug constitutes “an…

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Hospital antibiotic use can put patients at risk, study says

Washington Post, March 4, 2013
by Lena H. Sun

Doctors in some hospitals prescribe up to three times as many antibiotics as doctors at other hospitals, putting patients at greater risk for deadly superbug infections, according to a federal…

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As Full Disclosure Nears, Doctors’ Pay for Drug Talks Plummets

Pro Publica, March 3, 2014
by Charles Ornstein, Eric Sagara, and Ryann Grochowski Jones

Some of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical companies have slashed payments to health professionals for promotional speeches amid heightened public scrutiny of such spending, a new ProPublica analysis shows. Eli Lilly…

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Rare Mutation Kills Off Gene Responsible for Diabetes

New York Times, March 2, 2014
by Gina Kolata

A new study based on genetic testing of 150,000 people has found a rare mutation that protects even fat people from getting Type 2 diabetes. The effect is so pronounced…

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New Nutrition Labels To Highlight Calories, Added Sugar

Kaiser Health News, February 24, 2014

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations.

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Tough EU smoking rules approved:

BBC, February 26, 2014
by James Gallagher

The rules, voted in by the European Parliament, mean picture health warnings will have to dominate the front and back of all packaging. There will also be a ban on…

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A Hot Debate Over E-Cigarettes as a Path to Tobacco, or From It

New York Times, February 22, 2014
by Sabrina Tavernise

Dr. Michael Siegel, a hard-charging public health researcher at Boston University, argues that e-cigarettes could be the beginning of the end of smoking in America. He sees them as a…

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Generic-Drug Testing Goes Widespread in U.S. FDA Effort

Bloomberg, February 22, 2014
by Anna Edney

Generic drugs that make up almost 80 percent of U.S. prescriptions are being tested in the first widespread safety and quality evaluation run by the Food and Drug Administration. The $20 million effort,…

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New Directions for Food Safety:
The Food Safety Modernization Act and Beyond

Friday, February 21, 2014 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Austin Hall, Ames Courtroom (200)
1515 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration is required. To register, please…

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Insurance, Not Injuries, May Determine Who Goes To Trauma Centers

Kaiser Health News, February 19, 2014
by Sarah Varney

It’s called “patient dumping” – when hospitals transfer patients without insurance to public hospitals. But a new study from Stanford University has turned dumping on its head. It finds that hospitals…

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