Network Report

7/23/15

Public Health Law and Policy Perspectives

Removing Trans Fat from the Food System: The FDA Ban and What’s Next

Trans fats are linked to a myriad of negative health risks, including heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. The Food and Drug Administration recently took an important step to remove partially hydrogenated oils, a major source of trans fat, from the food system by declaring them no longer “general regarded as safe.” What this step means for local and state governments, as well as consumers.

Room for Flexibility in FDA’s “Gold Standard” of Drug Approval

The United States’ drug approval process is recognized as a “gold standard” worldwide, a standard upheld by the Food and Drug Administration. The process, which requires stringent screening and testing of new drugs to protect consumers, can make it difficult for drug makers to develop drugs to treat rare diseases, referred to as “orphan drugs.”

Network Resources

Issue Brief: FDA Ban on Trans Fat

The FDA recently took action to ban trans fat by declaring partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) no longer generally recognized as safe (GRAS) in human food. This resource examines what this loss of GRAS status means, the products impacted by the ban and when the ban will actually take effect, as well as implications for current local and state actions on PHOs.

Issue Brief: Community Water Fluoridation

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently issued a final rule recommendation for fluoridation in drinking water in all regions of the country. This resource looks at the public health impact of community water fluoridation and the complementary roles that federal, state and local government agencies play in water fluoridation.

Medical Marijuana Table

Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia have passed or enacted some form of medical marijuana legislation. This table provides a brief overview of jurisdictions with statutory and regulatory provisions legalizing medical marijuana use.

Upcoming Webinar

Telehealth: A Game-Changer for Health Care – Are Laws Keeping Pace?

Telehealth services allow patients to consult with doctors through videoconferencing and other technologies. Many in public health believe telehealth can improve access to health services for patients in rural areas, reduce health care costs, and ensure disease control surveillance through video directly observed therapy (VDOT). This webinar, taking place on Thursday, August 20 at 1 p.m. ET, will examine the various ways telehealth can be used and the laws currently regulating telehealth practices in each state.

Ask the Experts

Addressing Vision and Hearing Problems in Low-Income Children

Vision and hearing problems in children are linked to a number of social and public health issues, including poor academic performance, and low-income children are often more susceptible to these issues. The Network was recently contacted by a public health practitioner looking for research on vision and hearing problems in low-income children, as well as information on access to screening and other services.

Public Health Law Research

Pharmacist Scope of Practice Laws

Pharmacists can increase access to health care in the United States by providing immunizations, emergency prescription refills, and counseling at locations that are more physically accessible for many patients. A new LawAtlas resource examines statutes and regulations governing activities pharmacists can perform independently, activities pharmacists can perform with a practice agreement, and activities pharmacists can delegate to pharmacy technicians.

Healthy Communities Resource

Build a Safe, Connected, and Healthy Parks System

Recognizing the important role parks play, many communities are now looking for ways to expand, improve, and maintain their parks systems. ChangeLab Solutions’ Complete Parks Playbook can help jurisdictions assess a community’s parks system – the local or regional network of parks, green spaces, and open spaces – and determine areas in need of improvement as well as policy levers that can facilitate those improvements. This introductory resource can help decision makers and advocates develop a safe and accessible parks system that is integrated into a community’s built environment, hosts activities and programs, and addresses residents’ needs.

Student Network for Public Health Law

Student Network Mentorship Program

The Student Network is now accepting applications for its 2015/2016 Mentorship Program, which pairs experienced public health law professionals with students and young professionals across the country. Mentees will gain valuable insights beyond classroom education, learn more about the field, tap into new professional networks, and receive advice about job searching and resumes. Mentors will have the opportunity to share their passion for public health law, be a guiding influence for an emerging professional, and contribute to the growth of the public health law field. Learn more, and apply today.

Join the Network to receive the Network Report.