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Drug Policy

Ismael Apud, Oriol Romaní
Ayahuasca is a psychoactive beverage from the Amazon, traditionally used by indigenous and mestizo populations in the region. Widespread international use of the beverage began in the 1990s in both secular contexts and religious/spiritual networks. This article offers an analysis of these networks as health care systems in general and for the case of Spain and specifically Catalonia, describing the emergence and characteristics of their groups, and the therapeutic itineraries of some participants. The medical anthropology perspective we take enables us to reflect on the relationship between medicine and religion, and problematize the tensions between medicalization and medical pluralism...
October 18, 2016: International Journal on Drug Policy
Tonya L K Miller, Raymond Park, Lena S Sun
On April 16 and 17, 2016, the Pediatric Anesthesia and Neurodevelopment Assessment (PANDA) study held its fifth biennial symposium at the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York. The PANDA symposium has served as a key forum for clinicians, researchers, and other major stakeholders to gather and review the current state of preclinical and clinical research related to anesthetic neurotoxicity in children. Goals of the meeting included assessing how current knowledge has translated and impacted clinical care of patients who may be at risk, and future directions for research and policy...
October 2016: Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology
Tommi L Gaines, Daniel Werb, Jaime Arredondo, Victor M Alaniz, Carlos Vilalta, Leo Beletsky
BACKGROUND: In 2009, Mexico enacted a drug policy reform (Narcomenudeo) designed to divert persons possessing small amounts of illicit drugs to treatment rather than incarceration. To assess reform impact, this study examines the spatial-temporal trends of drug-related policing in Tijuana, Mexico post-enactment. METHOD: Location of self-reported arrests (N = 1,160) among a prospective, community-recruited cohort of people who inject drugs (PWID) in Tijuana (N = 552) was mapped across city neighborhoods...
October 21, 2016: Substance Use & Misuse
Jack E Henningfield, Tracy T Smith, Bethea A Kleykamp, Reginald V Fant, Eric C Donny
BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE: Steven R. Goldberg was a pioneering behavioral pharmacologist whose intravenous drug self-administration studies advanced the understanding of conditioned stimuli and schedules of reinforcement as determinants of pattern and persistence of drug-seeking behavior, and in particular, the importance of nicotine in tobacco use. His passing in 2014 led to invitations to contribute articles to psychopharmacology dedicated to his work. OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this review are to summarize and put into historical perspective Goldberg's contributions to elucidate the reinforcing effects of nicotine and to summarize the implications of his research for medication development, tobacco regulation, and potential tobacco control policy options...
October 21, 2016: Psychopharmacology
Zohar Barnett-Itzhaki, Tamar Berman, Itamar Grotto, Eyal Schwartzberg
BACKGROUND: Large amounts of expired and unused medications accumulate in households. This potentially exposes the public to hazards due to uncontrolled use of medications. Most of the expired or unused medications that accumulate in households (household medical waste) is thrown to the garbage or flushed down to the sewage, potentially contaminating waste-water, water resources and even drinking water. There is evidence that pharmaceutical active ingredients reach the environment, including food, however the risk to public health from low level exposure to pharmaceuticals in the environment is currently unknown...
2016: Israel Journal of Health Policy Research
Macarena C García, Anton B Dodek, Tom Kowalski, John Fallon, Scott H Lee, Michael F Iademarco, John Auerbach, Michele K Bohm
Overdose deaths involving opioid pain medications are epidemic in the United States, in part because of high opioid prescribing rates and associated abuse of these drugs (1). In 2014, nearly 2 million U.S. residents either abused or were dependent on prescription opioids (2). In Massachusetts, unintentional opioid-related overdose deaths, including deaths involving heroin, increased 45% from 2012 to 2013.* In 2014, the rate of these deaths reached 20.0 per 100,000, nearly 2.5 times higher than the U.S. rate overall (3,4)...
October 21, 2016: MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Madhukar Pai, Mark P Nicol, Catharina C Boehme
Rapid and accurate diagnosis is critical for timely initiation of anti-tuberculosis (TB) treatment, but many people with TB (or TB symptoms) do not have access to adequate initial diagnosis. In many countries, TB diagnosis is still reliant on sputum microscopy, a test with known limitations. However, new diagnostics are starting to change the landscape. Stimulated, in part, by the success and rollout of Xpert MTB/RIF, an automated, molecular test, there is now considerable interest in new technologies. The landscape looks promising with a pipeline of new tools, particularly molecular diagnostics, and well over 50 companies actively engaged in product development, and many tests have been reviewed by WHO for policy endorsement...
October 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Mingyue Zhao, Jing Wu
OBJECTIVE: Examine the effects of regulated competition on the drug pricing in China. METHODS: Based on product-level data, a regression method was employed for pricing by using data from Tianjin Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance (UEBMI) database. The market competition measures distinguished generic competition within the same molecule from therapeutic competition within the same therapeutic class. RESULTS: The increases in pricing are inversely related to the number of generic competitions...
October 20, 2016: Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research
Gemma L Buckland Merrett, Gerald Bloom, Annie Wilkinson, Hayley MacGregor
The emergence and spread of antibiotic resistant pathogens poses a big challenge to policy-makers, who need to oversee the transformation of health systems that evolved to provide easy access to these drugs into ones that encourage appropriate use of antimicrobials, whilst reducing the risk of resistance. This is a particular challenge for low and middle-income countries with pluralistic health systems where antibiotics are available in a number of different markets. This review paper considers access and use of antibiotics in these countries from a complex adaptive system perspective...
2016: Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice
Carolyn M Reyes-Guzman, Ruth M Pfeiffer, Jay Lubin, Neal D Freedman, Sean D Cleary, Paul H Levine, Neil E Caporaso
BACKGROUND: Light and/or intermittent smokers have been the fastest growing segment of cigarette smokers in the U.S. over the past two decades. Defining their behavioral characteristics is a critical public health priority. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Our sample included 78,229 U.S. adults from three pooled contemporary population-based surveys: the 2012 NHIS, 2012 NSDUH, and 2011-2012 NHANES. We classified current smokers into four categories (light and intermittent [LITS], light-daily, heavier-intermittent and heavier-daily) and assessed smoking behaviors, illicit drug use, and mental health indicators using weighted analyses...
October 19, 2016: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention
Rosalind L Coleman, Susie McLean
INTRODUCTION: The offer of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is recommended as an additional option for HIV prevention for people at substantial risk of HIV infection as part of combination HIV prevention approaches. Implementing this depends on integrating PrEP in public health programmes that address risky practices with evidence-based interventions, and that operate in an enabling legal and policy environment for the delivery of health services to those at higher risk of HIV infection...
2016: Journal of the International AIDS Society
Carlos F Cáceres, Annick Borquez, Jeffrey D Klausner, Rachel Baggaley, Chris Beyrer
BACKGROUND: In this article, we present recent evidence from studies focused on the implementation, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV infection; discuss PrEP scale-up to date, including the observed levels of access and policy development; and elaborate on key emerging policy and research issues to consider for further scale-up, with a special focus on lower-middle income countries. DISCUSSION: The 2015 WHO Early Release Guidelines for HIV Treatment and Prevention reflect both scientific evidence and new policy perspectives...
2016: Journal of the International AIDS Society
Frances M Cowan, Sinead Delany-Moretlwe, Eduard J Sanders, Nelly R Mugo, Fernand A Guedou, Michel Alary, Luc Behanzin, Owen Mugurungi, Linda-Gail Bekker
INTRODUCTION: Of the two million new HIV infections in adults in 2014, 70% occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. Several African countries have already approved guidelines for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for individuals at substantial risk of HIV as part of combination HIV prevention but key questions remain about how to identify and deliver PrEP to those at greatest need. Throughout the continent, individuals in sero-discordant relationships, and members of key populations (sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender women and injection drug users) are likely to benefit from the availability of PrEP...
2016: Journal of the International AIDS Society
Connie M Rhee, Csaba P Kovesdy, Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh
Like other biguanide agents, metformin is an anti-hyperglycemic agent with lower tendency towards hypoglycemia compared to other anti-diabetic drugs. Given its favorable effects on serum lipids, obese body habitus, cardiovascular disease, and mortality, metformin is recommended as the first-line pharmacologic agent for type 2 diabetes in the absence of contraindications. However, as metformin accumulation may lead to type B non-hypoxemic lactic acidosis, especially in the setting of kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, and overdose, regulatory agencies such as the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have maintained certain restrictions regarding its use in kidney dysfunction...
October 20, 2016: Nephron
Stephen B Soumerai, Rachel Ceccarelli, Ross Koppel
Some medical scientists argue that only data from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are trustworthy. They claim data from natural experiments and administrative data sets are always spurious and cannot be used to evaluate health policies and other population-wide phenomena in the real world. While many acknowledge biases caused by poor study designs, in this article we argue that several valid designs using administrative data can produce strong findings, particularly the interrupted time series (ITS) design...
October 18, 2016: Journal of General Internal Medicine
J E Truscott, H C Turner, S H Farrell, R M Anderson
Infections caused by soil-transmitted helminthias (STHs) affect over a billion people worldwide, causing anaemia and having a large social and economic impact through poor educational outcomes. They are identified in the World Health Organization (WHO) 2020 goals for neglected tropical diseases as a target for renewed effort to ameliorate their global public health burden through mass drug administration (MDA) and water and hygiene improvement. In this chapter, we review the underlying biology and epidemiology of the three causative intestinal nematode species that are mostly considered under the STH umbrella term...
2016: Advances in Parasitology
Beatrice I Amboko, Philip Ayieko, Morris Ogero, Thomas Julius, Grace Irimu, Mike English
BACKGROUND: Up to 90 % of the global burden of malaria morbidity and mortality occurs in sub-Saharan Africa and children under-five bear a disproportionately high malaria burden. Effective inpatient case management can reduce severe malaria mortality and morbidity, but there are few reports of how successfully international and national recommendations are adopted in management of inpatient childhood malaria. METHODS: A descriptive cross-sectional study of inpatient malaria case management practices was conducted using data collected over 24 months in five hospitals from high malaria risk areas participating in the Clinical Information Network (CIN) in Kenya...
October 18, 2016: Malaria Journal
Takele Kefyalew, Zelalem Kebede, Dawit Getachew, David Mukanga, Tessema Awano, Agonafer Tekalegne, Esey Batisso, Wasihun Edossa, Emebet Mekonnen, James Tibenderana, Ebenezer Sheshi Baba, Constance Shumba, Joaniter I Nankabirwa, Prudence Hamade
BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends injectable artesunate given either intravenously or by the intramuscular route for definitive treatment for severe malaria and recommends a single intramuscular dose of intramuscular artesunate or intramuscular artemether or intramuscular quinine, in that order of preference as pre-referral treatment when definitive treatment is not possible. Where intramuscular injections are not available, children under 6 years may be administered a single dose of rectal artesunate...
October 18, 2016: Malaria Journal
Chu-Shiu Li, June Han Lee, Chwen-Chi Liu, Yan-Lan Chan, Christopher Wen, Mu-Lin Chiu, Min Kuang Tsai, Shan Pou Tsai, Jackson Pui Man Wai, Chwen Keng Tsao, Xifeng Wu, Chi Pang Wen
Widowhood has been increasingly encountered because of increasing longevity of women, often characterized by social stigmatization and poor physical and mental health. However, applied research to overcome its adversity has been quite limited. The goal of this study is to explore the role of physical activity in improving the health of widows.A cohort of 446,582 adults in Taiwan who successively participated in a comprehensive medical screening program starting in 1994, including 232,788 women, was followed up for mortality until 2008...
August 2016: Medicine (Baltimore)
Rae Woong Park
Big data indicates the large and ever-increasing volumes of data adhere to the following 4Vs: volume (ever-increasing amount), velocity (quickly generated), variety (many different types), veracity (from trustable sources). The last decade has seen huge advances in the amount of data we routinely generate and collect in pretty much everything we do, as well as our ability to use technology to analyze and understand it. The routine operation of modern health care systems also produces an abundance of electronically stored data on an ongoing basis as a byproduct of clinical practice...
September 2016: Journal of Hypertension
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