Public Health

Drug Giants Brawl Over Copycat Drugs

BY: - August 8, 2013

A researcher works in a lab at Momenta Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, Mass., which makes generic versions of biologic drugs. In many state legislatures, manufacturers of brand-name biologics have clashed with companies that make generic copies. (Getty) The year 2013 began with the promise of a state-by-state, coast-to-coast battle between the makers of brand-name medications derived […]

Cities, States Face Off on Mandatory Paid Sick Leave

BY: - May 13, 2013

Speakers address a New York City rally in support of paid sick days. New York City and several other cities have approved laws requiring local employers to provide sick days, but some states are pushing back. (AP) Soon there will be fewer sick New Yorkers riding the subway, serving food in restaurants, or infecting their classmates, […]

Congress May Reverse Some of Sequester’s Cuts to WIC

BY: - March 20, 2013

WIC helped an expectant mother to buy food in Washington, DC, in 2012. The March 2013 sequester has cast doubt on the continued funding of programs including WIC. (Getty) An effort to keep the federal government open also could deliver relief to pregnant women, mothers and young children in need of food. The U.S. Senate […]

Health Care Cuts From Vaccinations to Research

BY: - March 11, 2013

A child receives vaccinations at a doctor’s office in Berlin, Vermont. Advocates say automatic spending cuts under sequestration will make it more difficult for low-income Americans to vaccinate their children. (AP) Sequestration spares Medicaid and almost all of Medicare, but automatic cuts to other federal health-care programs will make it more difficult for low-income Americans […]

State Lawmakers Push Crackdown on Cancer-Causing Radon

BY: - February 1, 2013

Lawmakers in at least three states are combatting what public health experts call the “silent killer” — radon, an invisible, odorless gas that that seeps into buildings through cracked walls and foundations. Bills filed in Iowa and Nebraska, and a proposal taking shape in Utah aim to reduce people’s exposure to the gas, the second-leading […]

Following Outbreak, Massachusetts Seeks Tougher Oversight of Compounding Pharmacies

BY: - January 7, 2013

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has unveiled legislation aiming to plug a regulatory gap that allows large compounding pharmacies to operate with little oversight. The state’s effort to crackdown on compounders, which traditionally alter drugs to meet specific patients’ needs but have since expanded to produce medications in bulk, was sparked by a deadly outbreak of […]

Big Drug Compounders Poorly Regulated

BY: - January 3, 2013

Vials of the injectable steroid product made by the New England Compounding Center and implicated in a fungal meningitis outbreak.  Far from triggering a quick fix, the deaths or illnesses of 620 people in 19 states that have been linked to a Massachusetts pharmacy have only underscored confusion over how to regulate the various types […]

Prescription Databases Weigh Public Health Against Patient Privacy

BY: - December 7, 2012

Kentucky’s “pill problem” and the state’s plan to fix it unfolded before a national gathering of state lawmakers in Washington D.C. Thursday (December 6). As David Hopkins, director of Kentucky’s prescription drug monitoring program, shared the state’s prescription numbers —about 60 million prescriptions in August 2012 alone for a population of about 4.4 million — […]

Texas Cancer Agency Fights Controversy

BY: - December 3, 2012

Texas Governor Rick Perry is a major supporter of his state’s Cancer Prevention Research Institute. (AP) The new Texas agency that is leading the state’s 10-year, $3 billion push to cure cancer is fighting for its reputation and future in the face of doubts about its operations. Spurred on by Governor Rick Perry and cyclist […]

To Raise Revenue, Raise Tobacco Taxes, Kentucky Commission Says

BY: - November 20, 2012

Kentucky may soon tell its smokers to cough up some extra cash. The state’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform says the state should raise taxes on tobacco. The governor-appointed panel Monday (November 19) recommended the state increase its cigarette tax from 60 cents to $1 per pack, along with a proportional hike on other […]

Michigan Addresses Head Injuries in Youth Sports

BY: - October 5, 2012

Michigan is poised to join the growing list of states addressing head injuries in youth sports. Governor Rick Snyder is expected to sign legislation seeking to crackdown on youth concussions and other traumatic brain injury, problems health officials have increasingly documented in recent years. The legislation would require youth sports coaches to immediately bench any […]