This Week in Public Health News | Week of May 1

1) Purdue Pharma agrees to settle OxyContin class-action suit

The pharmaceutical giant behind the blockbuster pain pill that triggered Canada’s deadly opioid crisis has agreed to pay $20-million to settle a long-standing class-action lawsuit. Purdue has generated $31-billion (U.S.) in revenue from the drug.


(20 000 000/ 31 000 000 000)*100 = 0.064%

The company was fined 0.064% of its profits.


2) Government has to stop looking for cheap way to address doctor shortage, says GP

Our very own, Dr. Michael Rachlis, was on CBC’s The Current this week discussing the access to family physicians across the country. “It’s not necessarily the numbers of doctors, it’s how we’re using them.”


3) Cycling to work can cut cancer and heart disease, says study

A five-year UK study of 250,000 commuters has suggested that cycling to work might half the risk of cancer and heart disease.


4) Pharmacare in Canada is getting some attention

The recent announcement of partial pharmacare in Ontario has gained quite a bit of attention, with articles in both the Globe and Mail, and the Toronto Star.


5) U.S. House of Representatives passes bill to repeal Obamacare

U.S. Republicans have successfully pushed their prized health-care bill through the House of Representatives. “The proposal repeals rules that obliged medium and large companies to provide health insurance to their employees; turns back the expansion of Medicaid, a government-funded program that provides health care to low-income people; and scraps income-tested subsidies for people to buy health insurance, replacing them with age-tested tax credits.”


Opposition has been widespread, including comments from late-night television. Earlier this week, Jimmy Kimmel shared a story about his newborn’s heart surgery, and in doing so, praised Obamacare.


6) Toronto doctor gladly gets rid of ‘FENTANYL’ vanity licence plate

This Toronto anesthesiologist has been driving around with a ‘FENTANYL’ vanity licence plate for 20 years.



And in other news:

7) The serial comma

Merriam-Webster explains the serial comma. I have very strong thoughts on this issue.

8) Sesame Street: Star S’Mores (Star Wars Parody)

In celebration of May 4th, Sesame Street teaches us about self-control.