Tag: Government

 

Calls on Ford Government to Implement Them Immediately

TORONTO, Oct. 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Ford government’s Long-Term Care Commission’s interim recommendations support the need for immediate action on improving care levels by increasing the supply of PSWs and an appropriate staff mix including nurses to meet the complex care needs of residents. They also validate the Coalition’s long-standing call for a minimum average care standard of 4-hours, access to full-time work, and immediate implementation of these measures. In addition, they reinforce the calls for family and caregiver access to residents. These are important, said the Ontario Health Coalition in reaction to the release of the recommendations today.

Also vitally important, reported the Coalition, are the recommendations that hospitals be teamed with long-term care homes and public health units to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the homes that are at risk, and to get these relationships in place immediately rather than waiting for after outbreaks are out of control. The Commission called for residents to be moved out of long-term care homes to hospitals or other alternative settings to avoid further transmission of the virus and to help them recover, and it called for these plans to be put in place in advance. The Coalition expressed support for this plan, provided it does not include transfers of residents to private for-profit retirement homes which are not health care facilities or coercive measures to move residents home without consent and robust care.

Finally, the Commission has made important recommendations to prioritize testing and results for long-term care homes, create a dedicated infection control lead, and enhance inspections and compliance with a focus on infection control measures. The Coalition, which represents more than half-a-million Ontarians, reported that is in full support of these recommendations.

“Many of these measures are things that we have been advocating for months,” reported Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition which has put out repeated reports and releases through the pandemic calling for an immediate staff recruitment drive by the government, minimum care standards, teams to be set up to go into the homes, residents to be moved out where care and infection control cannot be safely provided in the homes, testing as a priority, improved infection control and management and inspections.

“There can be no excuse for further failure to implement these recommendations immediately. There must be accountability for the failure to have done so in the summer months when case levels had gone down and there was a lull in the pandemic. But what is most important to express today is that not one more day can be lost now. Mr. Ford, it is beyond time to act. Ontarians need you to get these measures in place now,” she said. The Coalition also called on all provincial political parties to support the minimum care standards Private Member’s Bill, Bill 13 the Time to Care Act, that is going to Second Reading in the Ontario Legislature on October 28.

The Coalition is concerned that there is not

Walmart sues US government in dispute linked to opioid crisis

Retail giant Walmart filed suit Thursday against the US Justice Department over what it said was an unfair attempt to hold it legally responsible for certain sales of opioid drugs.

The lawsuit is the latest legal battle linked to the opioid crisis in the United States, where widespread abuse has led to government efforts to address the problem and hold drugmakers accountable.

In its lawsuit brought before a federal court in Texas, the US retailer says its pharmacists and pharmacies were being put “in an untenable position” by the government.

The suit, which also names the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), says Walmart was acting preemptively to head off a separate civil suit that the Justice Department has been preparing to file against it.

Walmart said the government’s rules were unclear and that pharmacists could not be expected to know when a prescription written by a licensed doctor should not be filled.

“Walmart and its pharmacists should not be held responsible for the government’s failures to address the opioid crisis,” the suit says.

With the help of aggressive marketing from pharmaceutical companies, particularly through doctors, prescriptions for highly addictive opiate painkillers that had previously been reserved for serious cases skyrocketed in the late 1990s.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 500,000 Americans have died of opioid overdoses — both prescription and non-prescription — since 1999.

Walmart accuses the DEA of seeking to pass blame for its failures.

It alleges the agency “authorized manufacturers to produce ever-increasing quantities of the drugs, and largely abandoned its most potent enforcement tools against bad actors.”

It also said that “nearly 70 percent of the doctors whose prescriptions” the government intends to challenge “maintain their DEA prescription privileges to this day.”

Walmart alleges the government has spent years and considerable amounts of money on a criminal investigation that has not produced an indictment and was now turning to a civil lawsuit instead.

It is calling on the court to state that the company and its pharmacists are not subject to the legal responsibility with which the government is seeking to brand it.

Other large companies, including drug distributors Cardinal Health and McKesson, have been targeted in lawsuits by local and state authorities that accuse them of turning a blind eye to millions of opioid prescriptions despite knowing their addictiveness.

A settlement was reached between three distributors and two Ohio counties in October 2019, raising the possibility of a larger settlement.

On Wednesday, the Justice Department announced that Purdue Pharma, manufacturer of the drug OxyContin, had agreed to plead guilty as part of a deal worth some $8.3 billion.

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Most People Would Get COVID-19 Vaccine if Offered by Government or Employer: Poll | Top News

LONDON (Reuters) – Most people would get a COVID-19 vaccine if their government or employer recommended it, results of a global poll showed on Tuesday, amid growing concerns about public distrust of the shots being developed at speed to end the pandemic.

Some 71.5% of participants said they would be very or somewhat likely to take a COVID-19 vaccine and 61.4% reported they would accept their employer’s recommendation to do so, according to the survey in June of more than 13,000 people in 19 countries.

The poll was overseen by the Vaccine Confidence Project (VCP), a global surveillance programme on vaccine trust funded by the European Commission and pharmaceutical companies among others, as well as Business Partners to CONVINCE, a U.S./British initiative that is partly government funded.

All respondents, regardless of nationality, said they would be less likely to accept a COVID-19 vaccine if it were mandated by employers.

There were regional differences in responses though, highlighting the polarisation in attitudes on the topic.

Almost 90% of participants in China said they accepted a vaccine, but the rate in Russia was less than 55%. In France, the positive response rate 58.89%, compared with 75.4% in the United States and 71.48% in Britain.

At least 60-70% of the population would need to have immunity to break the chain of transmission, according to the World Health Organization.

Respondents were aged 18 years or older from 19 countries from among the top 35 countries affected by the pandemic in terms of cases per million population.

The results will likely stir the debate about how to overcome public safety concerns, particularly in Western countries, about the frenetic speed of work to develop vaccines, potentially hampering efforts to control the pandemic and revive the global recovery.

There are about 200 COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development globally, including more than 40 in human clinical trials to test for safety and effectiveness. Many are being squeezed into a matter of months for a process that would typically take 10 years or longer.

Scott Ratzan, co-leader of Business Partners to CONVINCE and lecturer at CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, said the data demonstrated diminished public trust.

“It will be tragic if we develop safe and effective vaccines and people refuse to take them,” he said in an email.

“We need to develop a robust and sustained effort to address vaccine hesitancy and rebuild public confidence in the personal, family, and community benefits of immunisations.”

Reporting a willingness to get vaccinated might not be necessarily a good predictor of acceptance, as vaccine decisions can change over time.

Also the poll took place before Russia started the mass inoculation of its population with its Sputnik V shot before full studies had been completed and AstraZeneca

had to pause its late-stage study in September due to a participant’s illness.

Last month, nine leading U.S. and European vaccine developers issued a pledge to uphold scientific standards and testing rigour.

Last week, Facebook Inc

said it would start banning

UK Needs Three-Week Lockdown for COVID Reset: Government Adviser | World News

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain needs to impose a three-week period of national lockdown restrictions immediately to stop cases of COVID-19 spiralling, government scientific adviser Jeremy Farrar said, adding that current regional measures would not be effective.

“The current tiered restrictions will not bring the transmission rates down sufficiently or prevent the continued spread of the virus,” he said.

“A three-week period of nationally increased restrictions, with the right levels of financial support, will allow us to reset before winter, stop transmission spiralling, protect and prepare health services, give time to get the test-trace-isolate systems fully functional, and save lives,” he said.

Farrar, who is director of the Wellcome Trust and a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, said the response needed to be immediate because putting it off would only worsen and lengthen the crisis.

He told Sky News that the best time to have locked down was two to three weeks ago, but it wasn’t too late now.

Senior minister Michael Gove, however, said a two- or three- week national lockdown – named a “circuit breaker” by some – was not being considered.

“The spread and the nature of the disease does not merit that approach at the moment,” he told Sky News on Sunday.

Gove did concede that there were problems with the level of compliance with the rules already in place for those who tested positive for COVID-19.

He said the level of government support available for those who were required to self-isolate was kept under constant review.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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