Canadian Lung Association Applauds Government’s Changes To Tobacco Act

May 29, 2009

The Lung Association congratulates Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq and the Government of Canada on its announcement of imminent changes to the federal Tobacco Act that include:

– Mandating that cigarillos and blunt wraps be sold in packages of no less than 20;
– Banning the use of flavours and additives in tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigarillos and blunt wraps (cigar rolling paper);
– Prohibiting the graphic description or depiction of flavours in tobacco;
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GPs Should Not Be Rewarded For Cutting Referral Rates, Says British Medical Association

February 6, 2009

GPs should not take part in referral management schemes that offer GP practices financial rewards for cutting patient referrals, the BMA said.

In a new document, the BMA’s GP Committee offers GPs in England guidance on referral demand management and analysis schemes.

These initiatives are designed primarily to help GP practices examine the way they refer patients to other services, such as hospitals.

Referral schemes have developed in response to rising patient referral rates. More recently, variations have emerged that offer GPs financial rewards for cutting referral rates to pre-agreed levels set in co-operation with local health bodies.
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American Veterinary Medical Association Urges Veterinarians To Support National Animal Identification System

January 17, 2009

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is showing its strong support for the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) by urging veterinarians to actively participate in the system and utilize the new Veterinarian’s Toolkit.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (USDA-APHIS) Veterinarian’s Toolkit is an online resource developed by veterinarians for veterinarians. It provides a myriad of information including a detailed guide to how NAIS works and resources to help communicate its importance and benefits to producers.
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Study Looks At Association Between Sexual Orientation, Race/Ethnicity And Prostate, Colon Cancer Screening Rates

January 16, 2009

“Sexual Orientation and Testing for Prostate and Colorectal Cancers Among Men in California,” Medical Care: The study, led by Kevin Heslin, an assistant professor at the Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, examines prostate and colorectal cancer screening rates based on sexual orientation and race and ethnicity. Researchers analyzed data on 19,410 men who participated in a statewide health survey (Heslin et al., Medical Care, December 2008). Researchers looked at the use of prostate-specific antigen testing among gay/bisexual and heterosexual men and found no significant differences. However, the percentage of black gay/bisexual men who had undergone the test was 15% to 28% lower than gay/bisexual whites and 12% to 14% lower than heterosexual black men. The finding is significant because black men are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than any other racial or ethnic group (University of California-Los Angeles Center for Health Policy Researchnewsletter, December 2008). The study suggests that further research be conducted to examine racial and ethnic differences in cancer testing (Medical Care, December 2008).
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VAT Reduction – National Pharmacy Association Advice To Members, UK

January 12, 2009

On the reduction of VAT to 15%, as announced in the Chancellor’s Pre-budget Report, Raj Nutan, Head of Business Development at the National Pharmacy Association, said:

“HMRC has confirmed that there is no legal requirement for pharmacies to pass on these savings, as pricing decisions to consumers are made by individual businesses – so we will not instruct our members to do so. However, we would advise pharmacists to consider the image that they are portraying. If pharmacists are not seen to be passing on VAT savings, public opinion of pharmacies may be affected.
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BlueCross BlueShield Association President Serota Discusses Proposal To Expand Health Insurance, Reduce Costs

January 9, 2009

The New York Times on Saturday published an interview with Scott Serota, president and CEO of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, in which he discussed a health care proposal recently adopted by the BCBSA board. The four-point proposal would seek to expand health insurance to more U.S. residents, reduce costs and improve quality of care. According to Serota, the impetus for the BCBSA board was that “what is discussed in virtually all forums as health care reform is really health care financing reform.” He said that “the real underlying issue, which is that the entire health care delivery system needs to be modified,” has not received adequate national attention.
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San Bernardino County Physician Who Helps Lower-Income Patients Assumes Presidency Of The California Medical Association

January 7, 2009

Dr. Dev GnanaDev, M.D., 58, accepted the role of President of the California Medical Association, an organization representing 35,000 physician members in all modes of practice and specialties. He took office at the close of CMA’s Annual House of Delegates, which concluded this week in Sacramento.

“This is an important time for health care in California,” Dr. GnanaDev stated. “As physicians, we must be a voice for the patients we serve. Our first and most important goal is to ensure that Californians have access to the care they need. The doctors of the California Medical Association will be doing everything in our power to make that happen.”
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