Tag Archives: health policy

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How citizens’ feedback can shape health research

Experts will discuss the latest research on healthy populations at the forthcoming EuroScience Open Forum event to be held in July 2016 in Manchester. The trouble is, until recently, often people who may be impacted by health research did not have a say in it. Several session organisers share their views on the new avenues that are explored to improve the link between health research and citizens. Read more [...]
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Health Policy

The shift towards prevention or wellness has now been operated a few years ago in health policy. Particularly in the field of chronic diseases, which is the focus of our independent coverage in this issue and of a campaign orchestrated by the REIsearch project. This has led to a number of policy experiments over time. As yet, there is no magic bullet to entice people to try and take greater care of their health. It appears that a combination of voluntary actions by citizens, with prevention campaigns from interested groups, and regulations can help. But too much of any of these ingredients may affect the fragile dynamic between them. Read more [...]
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Sweet tooth: countering one of our most lethal addictions

Sugar is one of the next targets of health policy makers in Europe. It features as one of the ingredients in the latest food reformulation roadmap, just published by the European Commission. This ingredient has crept up in European diets unprecedented levels. As a result it could have serious consequences for the heath of European citizens, reflected in the increase of diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Today, sugar has become very political. And the debate rages on between those concerned for public health and those in favour of preserving consumer choice, avoiding nanny states interventions and protecting the food industry's market share. Read more [...]
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June Andrews: policy support for dementia needs to be adequate

A better management of chronic illnesses such as dementia can be done by harnessing technological solutions. But this kind of innovative support cannot be used unless it respects the rights of people affected by the disease. In contrast, those close to dementia patients have a responsibility to adopt preventive steps to manage the disease. But this can only happen once governments implement adequate level of support. In this exclusive EuroScientist interview, June Andrews, director of the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling, in Scotland, UK, analyses the potential and the drawbacks of innovation for the 50 million people worldwide affected by this condition. Read more [...]
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Nudge towards effective harm reduction

In the past, policy makers assumed that governments could only change behaviours through rules and regulations. now they are designing programmes that reflect how people really act, as a means to induce behavioural change. The ‘nudge’ theory opens the way for nuanced and pragmatic harm reduction policies, argues Alberto Alemanno, who is Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law and Risk Regulation at the Paris School for Business and Management, France. Read more [...]
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Do drug programs really work?

Drugs are a modern plague. It is difficult to develop effective policies and programmes based on objective evidence. Indeed,the evidence base for prevention programmes is rather patchy. Françoise Dubois-Arber, from the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (IUSMP) at Lausanne University Hospital, in Switzerland, shares her views on what works and what does not, when it comes to drug prevention programmes. Read more [...]
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Juggling with drinking patterns, culture and policy responses

Alcohol is addictive. Global action to reduce harmful use is already underway. But governments still struggle to implement effective policies against drink abuse.It now imperative that policy-makers appreciate the complex individual, societal and cultural factors that affect their work. Marjana Martinic, deputy president at the International Center for Alcohol Policies, Washington, D.C. USA, shares her views on how diverse interventions have been tested and are likely to be appropriate and enjoy public support. Read more [...]
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The ethics of intervening in addicts’ lives

Philosophical puzzles apply in public health too. In addiction, there is a subtle balance between the rights and responsibilities of the individual and the State. Particularly, when it comes to intervening in the lives of people addicted to substances such as tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs. Here, Julian Kinderlerer, professor of intellectual property law at Cape Town University, South Africa, who is also president of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE), outlines all the facets of the ethical dilemma associated with State intervention towards addiction, and places the role of scientists and ethicists in informing a balanced debate. Read more [...]
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Ebola preparedness starts with dispelling fear

In an attempt to dispel any fear of the unknown surrounding ebola, EuroScientist analyse the many facets of the current outbreak based on the opinion of a broad range of experts. Above all, we look at whether European countries are sufficiently prepared to make adequate policy decisions that will help end this outbreak and prevent future ones. Read more [...]
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