In an effort to reduce the costs of treating homeless individuals with chronic medical conditions by providing them with permanent housing, legislation was recently introduced in Hawaii that would classify homelessness as a medical condition.
Some of the public health law and policy stories that made headlines in March include a call by physicians for policy changes to better address the opioid epidemic, states’ efforts on oral health care access for the elderly, the effects of gun laws on suicide rates, and a new federal law requiring water companies to notify customers of lead and other dangerous contaminants in water.
The prevalence of severe black lung disease is rising at an alarming rate. With modification of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) looming, victims of black lung disease may soon face elimination of critical benefits and protection.
Prescribing drugs for patients is routine for physicians, but counseling pregnant patients about medication use is more complex. The FDA’s recent Pregnancy and Lactation Labeling Rule (PLLR) addresses this issue by making known drug safety data readily available to both doctors and patients.
While “Tobacco 21” and clean air laws are effective tobacco control strategies, particularly at reducing youth use, they’re not politically feasible in much of the country – twenty states still do not have comprehensive indoor smoking restrictions and only California and Hawaii have raised the minimum tobacco purchase age to 21. State and local tobacco licensing programs are critical to preventing youth use of tobacco products. These programs enable communities to identify retail businesses that sell tobacco products.
In 2015, 33,091 Americans died of accidental opioid overdose, that’s more deaths than from car crashes or guns. Early interventions to prevent and treat substance use disorder and opioid use disorder, save lives and resources. Although access to evidence-based prevention and treatment remains far below where it should be, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act have been instrumental in improving it.
Some of the public health law and policy issues that made headlines in February include the impact of Mexico’s soda tax, new federal rules to better serve patients of home health agencies, and proposed changes to CDC’s quarantine powers.
Frustrated by what they perceive as insufficient federal legislative and executive efforts to address climate change, a group of young plaintiffs and other activists have filed suit against the federal government, citing a wide variety of health-related harms they have suffered because of the government’s inability to reduce carbon emissions.
The movement to legalize the intrastate sale of raw milk continues despite warnings from the FDA and CDC that its consumption is a health risk. Federal law prohibits selling or transportation of raw milk, but there is decreased regulation within states. In the first month of 2017, five states have already introduced raw milk legislation to allow or expand its sale within their borders.
Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) allow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to authorize emergency use of unapproved medical countermeasures during emergency circumstances to combat threats that involve chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear agents. On January 13, the FDA issued final guidance for industry and other stakeholders on EUA of Medical Products and Related Authorities.