Advocacy E-News December 12, 2013
December 12, 2013
SUBCOMMITTEE EXAMS MENTAL HEALTH PRIVACY LAWS
WASHINGTON, DC – The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), today continued its post-Newtown examination of the nation’s mental health system, focusing on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and how its application can help or hinder patient care and public safety.
“Our goal is to peel away the numerous layers of misinformation surrounding HIPAA so that we can ensure patients are getting the right treatment and the public is kept safe. Sometimes this may involve communication with the parents or family of a patient, who often possess unique insight into their loved one’s condition.”
BROADER APPROACH URGED TO REDUCE GUN VIOLENCE
The most effective way to reduce gun violence without significantly curtailing Second Amendment rights is to treat the problem as a public health issue, like smoking or drunken driving, rather trying to profile potential shooters, according to a report released Thursday by a panel of experts who were commissioned by the American Psychological Association. It concluded that trying to predict who will act out by profiling was unreliable, and that more systemic preventive policies were far more effective.
WHISTLE BLOWER DETAILS OFF-LABEL RISPERDAL MARKETING SCHEME
A former Johnson & Johnson sales representative who helped the U.S. government secure a $2.2 billion settlement over the health care maker’s off-label marketing of Risperdal, said sales of the anti-psychotic medicine accounted for 70 percent of employee bonuses. The government alleged J&J marketed Risperdal and two other drugs for off-label uses and paid kickbacks to doctors and pharmacists to boost sales. J&J’s Janssen unit pleaded guilty to misbranding Risperdal.
N.J. RANKS LAST IN FUNDING FOR ANTI-SMOKING PROGRAMS
New Jersey ranks last in the nation when it comes to funding for preventative smoking programs for kids and programs aimed at helping smokers quit, according to a national report released by a coalition of public health organizations. This is the second consecutive year that the Garden State is the only state that has budgeted zero state funds for these programs.