By Hyeongsu Park and Kathy Wang
- Harvard University announced on Wednesday that it would shut down its primate research center over the next two years. The facility has been cited for animal welfare violations, but the university said that it was closing the research center due to a tough economic climate.
- After a federal judge recently ordered the Food and Drug Administration to make the morning-after pill available to women of all ages without a prescription, a New York Times article discusses a broader issue that follows: whether birth-control pills should require a doctor’s prescription. Various groups, gynecologists, and politicians are sharply divided on this issue. The author discusses procedural hurdles and safety issues around making the morning-after pills over-the-counter drugs.
- Utah recently became the first state to explicitly permit general prisoners (not death-row inmates) to donate their organs if they die while incarcerated. The New York Times introduces discussions among various academic and health professionals regarding the law allowing prisoners to become organ donors.
- After Colorado voters approved a measure in November legalizing small amounts of marijuana for recreational use, Colorado legislators will discuss taxes on marijuana and the plan to use the tax revenues this week. The legislators are considering excise and sales taxes on marijuana of up to 30 percent combined. The goal is to set taxes high enough to finance the administration of new laws, but not so high that customers are driven back to the black market.
- A group of Texas optometrists is lobbying the State Legislature for more power to negotiate contracts with health insurance companies, and the measure they support could hit consumers’ wallets.
- British antitrust authorities accused the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline of paying three rivals to delay the introduction of a generic version of antidepressant drug.
- A Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday threw out three of seven murder charges against Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who was charged with killing viable fetuses while performing abortions.