The Health News Australia August 8 2017

Overview

  • Australians who paid a premium for Nurofen’s “misleading” targeted pain relief pills can apply for compensation after the manufacturer agreed to settle a class action lawsuit. Reckitt Benckiser will pay $3.5 million dollars to customers who purchased the painkillers between two thousand eleven and two thousand fifteen. The specific pain range claimed to target back pain, migraines, tension headaches and period pain, despite containing nearly identical ingredients to regular Nurofen painkillers.
  • The strategy governing Australia’s move to default e-health records for all citizens as part of a push towards a digital health services ecosystem has received the official stamp of approval by the country’s governments. The ADHA said 5 million Australians have already been set up with an e-health record.
  • The creation of healthcare records about every complaint and ailment we seek treatment for is also a near-certainty. Data about patients is a vital cog in the provision of efficient health services. It is now increasingly common for healthcare records to be digitised and held in a central repository. They can potentially be held for an indefinite period after someone dies, depending on the jurisdiction.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 8th of August 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-03/nurofen-offers-3.5-million-compensation-to-customers/877091

Australians who paid a premium for Nurofen’s “misleading” targeted pain relief pills can apply for compensation after the manufacturer agreed to settle a class action lawsuit. Reckitt Benckiser will pay three point five million dollars to customers who purchased the painkillers between two thousand eleven and two thousand fifteen. The specific pain range claimed to target back pain, migraines, tension headaches and period pain, despite containing nearly identical ingredients to regular Nurofen painkillers. They were sold at almost twice the price of Nurofen’s general product, and the company made forty five million dollars in revenue from the range in four years.

The Federal Court ordered the pills be pulled from the shelves in two thousand fifteen, and imposed a one point seven million dollar fine against Reckitt Benckiser for misleading the market. However, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission appealed against the decision, arguing the penalty did not go far enough. The court agreed to raise the fine to six million dollars – the highest corporate penalty awarded for misleading conduct under the Australian Consumer Law. Law firm Bannister Law brought the class action against Nurofen last year, seeking a full refund for misled customers. The company said in a statement: “It was never our intention to mislead, but we recognise that we could have done more to assist our consumers in navigating the Nurofen Specific Pain Range in Australia.”

https://www.itnews.com.au/news/australias-new-digital-health-strategy-has-been-approved-470161

The strategy governing Australia’s move to default e-health records for all citizens as part of a push towards a digital health services ecosystem has received the official stamp of approval by the country’s governments. The Council of Australian Governments health council today approved the national digital health strategy two thousand eighteen to two thousand twenty two following a meeting in Brisbane. The country’s health ministers said the strategy “put the consumer at the centre of their health care and provides choice, control, and transparency”.

Australian Digital Health Agency or ADHA CEO Tim Kelsey said the strategy was intended to address “new health challenges and rapidly rising demand for services”.

“It is imperative that we work together to harness the power of technology and foster innovation to support high quality, sustainable health and care for all, today and into the future,” he said in a statement. The strategy outlines seven “strategic priorities” for digital health in Australia, including the shift to a default electronic My Health Record for every Australian by next year.

The ADHA said five million Australians have already been set up with an e-health record. The federal government allocated three hundred seventy four point two million dollars to the My Health Record rollout in its May budget.

ADHA’s new digital health strategy also includes: the delivery of paper-free secure messaging for all doctors;  real-time sharing of patient information between hospitals and healthcare providers ; paper-free medication management and electronic prescribing and dispensing; digital upskilling of health workers; a suite of accredited health apps. The agency is now working with the healthcare industry to create a ‘framework for action’ that will detail how the strategy will be implemented. It will be published later this year.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-07/ethics-and-privacy-surrounding-digital-healthcare-records/8780614

Death is inevitable. The creation of healthcare records about every complaint and ailment we seek treatment for is also a near-certainty. Data about patients is a vital cog in the provision of efficient health services. A study explores what happens to those healthcare records after people die. The study focuses on New Zealand’s legal situation and practices, but the issue is truly a global one. Previously, health care records were held in paper form and stored in an archive. Next came the advent of digital storage in on-site databases. When you died, your records were either shredded or erased, depending on the technology. But it is now increasingly common for healthcare records to be digitised and held in a central database system. They can potentially be held for an indefinite period after someone dies, depending on the jurisdiction.

Large, population-based healthcare datasets have immense value. This is particularly true of records that include genomic information alongside other healthcare data — a phenomenon that will only increase as information about a person’s genes is more widely used in clinical treatment.These posthumous healthcare datasets, which will grow in size and detail over the coming decades, could tell us a great deal about diseases and heritability.

Datasets from generations of families and communities may well be available for research, and able to be analysed. If a company could quickly analyse millions of genomes to isolate a disease that could be cured by an engineered pharmaceutical, and the commercial value this would create. So how will this affect the individual whose data is held and their surviving family? Many people would be willing to donate medical records if the downstream result was beneficial for their community and country.

It’s impossible to talk about the long-term fate of healthcare data without considering privacy and consent. As part of medical research, for example, participants are required to provide informed consent and often the gathered data are anonymised.

Access to posthumous medical records, on the other hand, is not highly regulated or protected in most countries, and the laws surrounding access are incredibly unclear.

 

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