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OECD outlines action for governments to tackle heavy cost of harmful drinking

May 15, 2015 Comments off

OECD outlines action for governments to tackle heavy cost of harmful drinking
Source: OECD

Tackling Harmful Alcohol Use: Economics and Public Health Policy says that the increase of risky drinking behaviours is a worrying trend as it is associated with higher rates of traffic accidents and violence, as well as increased risk of acute and chronic health conditions. The report shows that several policies have the potential to reduce heavy drinking, regular or episodic, as well as alcohol dependence. Governments seeking to tackle binge drinking and other types of alcohol abuse can use a range of policies that have proven to be effective, including counselling heavy drinkers, stepping up enforcement of drinking-and-driving laws, as well as raising taxes, raising prices, and increasing the regulation of the marketing of alcoholic drinks.

HHS OIG — FDA Has Made Progress on Oversight and Inspections of Manufacturers of Generic Drugs

May 11, 2015 Comments off

FDA Has Made Progress on Oversight and Inspections of Manufacturers of Generic Drugs
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General

WHY WE DID THIS STUDY
OIG received a Congressional request expressing concerns about the safety and quality of generic drugs produced by foreign manufacturers and requesting that OIG evaluate whether FDA is achieving parity in inspections of foreign and domestic manufacturers. In 2012, nearly 80 percent of prescriptions filled in the United States were for generic drugs. But in recent years, several recalls of generic drugs have raised concerns about FDA’s oversight of manufacturers.

HOW WE DID THIS STUDY
We analyzed FDA data for inspections and registered manufacturers of generic drugs for 2011-2013 to determine the number and types of inspections. We also analyzed FDA data to determine whether manufacturers listed on approved applications had registered with FDA as required. We also analyzed FDA records and interviewed FDA staff to determine the extent to which it is progressing toward achieving parity in domestic and foreign inspections and more efficient processes for inspections.

WHAT WE FOUND
FDA increased its preapproval inspections of manufacturers of generic drugs by 60 percent between 2011 and 2013. However, it did not conduct all of the preapproval inspections requested by its own generic drug application reviewers during this time period. The graphic below illustrates the distribution of generic manufacturers and surveillance inspections worldwide (for more information, see Table 4 in the report).
In 2013, FDA conducted surveillance inspections of all generic manufacturers that it had identified as high risk. FDA also reported progress towards achieving parity in inspections of foreign and domestic manufacturers of generic drugs and ensuring compliance with generic manufacturer registration. Finally, FDA has created some policies and procedures to request manufacturer records in lieu or in advance of an inspection, but has not yet used these procedures to request records.

Respect and Legitimacy — A Two-Way Street Strengthening Trust Between Police and the Public in an Era of Increasing Transparency

May 8, 2015 Comments off

Respect and Legitimacy — A Two-Way Street Strengthening Trust Between Police and the Public in an Era of Increasing Transparency
Source: RAND Corporation

Events in recent months have focused national attention on profound fractures in trust between some police departments and the communities they are charged with protecting. Though the potential for such fractures is always present given the role of police in society, building and maintaining trust between police and the public is critical for the health of American democracy. However, in an era when information technology has the potential to greatly increase transparency of police activities in a variety of ways, building and maintaining trust is challenging. Doing so likely requires steps taken by both police organizations and the public to build understanding and relationships that can sustain trust through tragic incidents that can occur in the course of policing — whether it is a citizen’s or officer’s life that is lost. This paper draws on the deep literature on legitimacy, procedural justice, and trust to frame three core questions that must be addressed to build and maintain mutual trust between police and the public: (1) What is the police department doing and why? (2) What are the results of the department’s actions? and (3) What mechanisms are in place to discover and respond to problems from the officer to the department level? Answering these questions ensures that both the public and police have mutual understanding and expectations about the goals and tactics of policing, their side effects, and the procedures to address problems fairly and effectively, maintaining confidence over time.

What Is Child Welfare? A Guide for Disaster Preparedness and Response Professionals

May 5, 2015 Comments off

What Is Child Welfare? A Guide for Disaster Preparedness and Response Professionals
Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway (HHS)

In preparing and responding to the safety and well-being of children and families during all phases of disaster, child welfare and disaster preparedness and response (DPR) professionals work most effectively in partnership. This guide provides an overview of child welfare, describes how DPR and child welfare professionals can support one another’s efforts, and lists resources for more information.

Is Ridesharing Safe?

April 30, 2015 Comments off

Is Ridesharing Safe?
Source: Cato Institute

Rideshare companies Uber and Lyft are facing predictable complaints as they continue to grow. Many of these complaints concern safety, with some in the taxi industry claiming that ridesharing is less safe than taking a traditional taxicab.

Ridesharing safety worries relate to the well-being of drivers, passengers, and third parties. In each of these cases there is little evidence that the sharing economy services are more dangerous than traditional taxis. In fact, the ridesharing business model offers big safety advantages as far as drivers are concerned. In particular, ridesharing’s cash-free transactions and self-identified customers substantially mitigate one of the worst risks associated with traditional taxis: the risk of violent crime.

An analysis of the safety regulations governing vehicles for hire does not suggest that ridesharing companies ought to be more strictly regulated. It does highlight, however, that in many parts of the country lawmaker sand regulators have not adequately adapted to the rise of ridesharing, which fits awkwardly into existing regulatory frameworks governing taxis. There will be many real and substantive issues to sort out as the rideshare industry continues to develop. In particular, heavily regulated taxi drivers have a valid point when they complain that they have to compete on an unlevel playing field with less regulated rideshare companies. But the appropriate response to this problem is to rationalize and modernize the outdated and heavy-handed restrictions on taxis—not to extend those restrictions to ridesharing.

What Americans believe about opioid prescription painkiller use

April 28, 2015 Comments off

What Americans believe about opioid prescription painkiller use (PDF)
Source: National Safety Council

Key Takeaways:
1. Americans don’t know their painkillers contain opioids, or that it is a felony to share them.
2. Opioid users are unconcerned about addiction, but most have reason to worry.
3. Opioid users overestimate the benefits of opioids and underestimate the risks of addiction or death.

New topical fire report: Fire Risk in 2011

April 27, 2015 Comments off

New topical fire report: Fire Risk in 2011 (PDF)
Source: U.S. Fire Administration

The risk from fire is not the same for everyone. In 2011, 3,415 deaths and 17,500 injuries in the U.S. were caused by fires. These casualties were not equally distributed across the U.S. population and the resulting risk of death or injury from fire was more severe for some groups. This topical fire report explores why different segments of society are at a greater risk from fire.

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