What We're Reading: Canadian Drug Bill Introduced; FDA to Discuss Vaginal Mesh; Health Effects of Traffic

January 21, 2019

A bill co-sponsored by Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, would allow people to buy prescription drugs from approved pharmacies in Canada; the FDA is planning an advisory meeting on February 12 to share evidence and expert opinion about the safety and effectiveness of transvaginal mesh; economist Austin Frakt recaps the public health effects of sitting in traffic, including contributing to climate change, lost time, and damage to psychological well-being.

Grassley, Klobuchar Sponsor Bill Allowing Drug Imports From Canada

FDA Committee Will Examine Safety of Transvaginal Mesh Implants

What Are the Health Effects From Sitting in Traffic? Many, Economist Frakt Says

A bill co-sponsored by Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, would allow people to buy prescription drugs from approved pharmacies in Canada. The bill is reigniting a long-simmering debate about drug importation, a proposal strongly opposed by the powerful pharmaceutical lobby, as well as giving Republicans an early test on their commitment to lowering drug prices, The Hill reported.The FDA is planning an advisory meeting on February 12 to share evidence and expert opinion about the safety and effectiveness of transvaginal mesh, according to The Washington Post, which reported on the health problems and resulting lawsuits brought by women who have had surgery for urinary incontinence and prolapse. About 3 million to 4 million women worldwide have had mesh implanted, and about 5% have had complications, which are difficult or impossible to fix, according to some doctors.A column in The New York Times by economist Austin Frakt recaps the public health effects of sitting in traffic, including contributing to climate change, lost time, and damage to psychological well-being. The total cost of traffic exceeds $100 billion per year, he wrote.