HHS extends liability shield to antivirals used for H1N1

first_imgJun 26, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently provided a shield against damage claims related to the use of the antiviral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) in the current H1N1 influenza pandemic.HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius signed a notice extending liability protection under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act. It was published in the Federal Register on Jun 19.The PREP Act allows the HHS secretary to provide liability protection related to the use of various medical measures against diseases that HHS determines to be health emergencies. Protections are already in place for the two antivirals when used against H5N1 influenza and for vaccines for H5N1 and other potential pandemic flu strains, among other drugs and vaccines.Liability protection is provided to groups and individuals involved in the development, manufacture, testing, distribution, administration, and use of medical countermeasures, according to HHS.Gretchen Michael, an HHS spokeswoman in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, described the antiviral-related move as routine. “This just sort of adapted the previous PREP Act documents for H1N1,” she said.Michael said the impulse for PREP Act liability protections has come primarily from the manufacturers of the relevant products. She said the oseltamivir protection measure was not related to the reports, mainly from Japan, of abnormal behavior in some adolescents who were given the drug.See also: Federal Register notice about liability protection for oseltamivir and zanamivirhttp://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-14412.pdflast_img read more

Governor Wolf’s Middle Class Task Force Kicks Off First Regional Roundtable

first_img Government That Works,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf’s Middle Class Task Force, a panel of business, labor, education and workforce development experts, today held the first of six regional roundtables to hear from Pennsylvanians about how to improve the lives of hard-working, middle class families.“This task force is bringing together a special combination of representatives for employers, workers, educators and students to listen to people across the commonwealth about how we can support and grow Pennsylvania’s middle class,” said Governor Wolf. “Our state is making progress by increasing education funding and expanding economic incentives and workforce training, but middle class families know we must do more.“It is important this task force hears from people on all sides so we can develop education, training and economic development opportunities to ensure middle class families can live and complete in the 21st century economy.”The governor appointed four chairmen to lead the task force: Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Assistant Vice Chancellor Dr. Sue Mukherjee, and Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association Chairperson Susie Snelick. Additional leaders from these constituencies will be invited to join these discussions as well.“With our prime location, diverse industry base and strong work ethic, Pennsylvania is uniquely poised for a host of economic opportunities,” said Gene Barr, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. “But despite these benefits, there are people without jobs, and there are good paying jobs without people to fill them. I’m excited to listen and meet with residents from across the commonwealth to discuss the challenges currently facing our state – including a growing jobs skills gap –  and to work with my fellow task force members towards solutions that will help the middle class and Pennsylvania’s economy to thrive.”“This is an exciting opportunity for worker advocates, businesses, legislators and community organizations to come together to hear the concerns of working people,” said Rick Bloomingdale, president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. “It is imperative for the future of Pennsylvania that we look ahead with the fullest understanding of the current realities working families face across our commonwealth. At a time when economic inequality is at the forefront of so many conversations, the Governor’s Middle-Class Task Force is a step toward understanding and growing opportunities for working people in the 21st century.”Over the next few weeks the task force will hold five additional regional discussions to listen to businesses leaders, workers, educators, students and others for suggestions on ways the commonwealth can better support working families to get and keep jobs, as well as to invest in education and training to make businesses in Pennsylvania more competitive.“By forming the task force, Governor Wolf is again helping us focus, individually and collectively, on a problem that matters,” said Dr. Sue Mukherjee, assistant vice chancellor with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. “At the State System, we believe that education is at the core of socio-economic mobility. We also know that our state continues to struggle with a mismatch among jobs, workers, and students. We need to learn more.“Governor Wolf’s Middle Class Taskforce will provide our education community the opportunity to learn directly from the families and regional businesses we serve so we can better catalyze pathways to economic security for all.”As the task force works to find common ground, Pennsylvania’s middle class and economy are changing, creating challenges for workers and businesses. Near full employment has caused a tight labor market and a shortage of workers in some industries along with the need to train workers to close the skills gap for the available in-demand jobs.“Governor Wolf’s Middle Class Task Force is an ideal forum for workers and employers statewide to collaborate on policy recommendations that support the governor’s ‘Jobs that Pay’ priority,” said Susie Snelick, chairperson of the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association. “I look forward to hearing from middle class workers and employers across the commonwealth about ways we can all help everyone succeed and sharing those suggestions with the governor.”Representing the Wolf administration on the task force are Department of Education Secretary Pedro Rivera, Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin, Acting Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak.The task force will present recommendations to the governor later this year. September 29, 2017 Governor Wolf’s Middle Class Task Force Kicks Off First Regional Roundtablecenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Manitoba judges visit Indigenous leaders to try to boost access to justice

first_imgWINNIPEG – Five Manitoba judges, including the chief justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench, are to meet with First Nations leaders this week to try to find ways to improve the justice system for Indigenous people.The meeting 500 kilometres north of Winnipeg on Tuesday is part of a recently announced effort to address issues behind the high incarceration rate for Indigenous people in the province, and to start acting on some of the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report two years ago.“The question of a disproportionate presence, in terms of our Indigenous population in prisons, is a brutally tragic fact and we have to address that,” Chief Justice Glenn Joyal told The Canadian Press.Joyal is to be joined by four other judges who are on a committee announced in June that is tasked with finding improvements. They are to meet with community members in Norway House Cree Nation and with representatives of 30 First Nations communities in northern Manitoba.Joyal said there are a number of ways to accomplish improvements. Drop-in clinics that provide legal advice to low-income earners could be expanded. New guidelines to speed up court cases so that people spent less time in custody awaiting trial could be introduced and courts could make better use of restorative justice and traditional Indigenous practices, so that more offenders could be rehabilitated in the community.“There’s the sense that perhaps we’re not fully appreciating or utilizing some of the legal traditions that we could — without in any way compromising the integrity of the rule of law — better utilize,” Joyal said.Norway House Chief Ron Evans said he welcomes the initiative. There are a number of areas where improvement is needed, he said, including a greater focus on preventing crime by addressing issues such as inadequate housing and poor support services for young people.Evans said many people get in trouble for breaching conditions of their release while facing a long wait for trial.“Sometimes a lot of our young people, especially, will breach their conditions, thereby establishing a criminal record and … the dockets are too long and it drags on for so long that it prevents them from improving their circumstances and accessing better education.”The 2015 report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission contained 18 recommendations to improve justice for Indigenous people. One called on the provincial and federal governments to “provide realistic alternatives to imprisonment for Aboriginal offenders and respond to the underlying causes of offending.”Evans said Tuesday’s meeting is a beginning.“Hopefully it’s a dialogue that will continue and reconciliation can happen.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the meeting between judges and First Nations leaders would take place Monday. The meeting will be on Tuesday.last_img read more