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New Zealand: Draft Regulations on Plain Packaging of Cigarettes Released

(June 2, 2016) On May 31, 2016, the New Zealand Ministry of Health released draft regulations that would implement the Smoke-Free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill, which is currently being considered by the Parliament.  (Standardised Tobacco Products and Packaging Draft Regulations, Ministry of Health website (May 31, 2016); Smoke-Free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment […]

Nepal: Immunization Law Adopted

(May 24, 2016) On January 26, 2016, Nepal’s President, Bidya Devi Bhandari, signed into law legislation on immunization. According to the Sabine Vaccine Institute, the new law is “a landmark piece of legislation that will make the country’s national immunization program more financially sustainable as new, costlier vaccines are introduced.”  (Nepal Enacts Bill to Strengthen […]

Brazil: Registration of Babies Born from In Vitro Fertilization or Surrogacy

(Apr. 28, 2016) On March 14, 2016, Brazil’s National Internal Affairs Office (Corregedoria Nacional de Justica, CNJ) published Act No. 52,  regulating the issuance of a birth certificate for children whose parents opted for reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization and “pregnancy by substitution” (barriga de aluguel), which is better known as “surrogacy.” (Provimento No. […]

Brazil: Import and Use of Marijuana-Based Medicine Products Authorized

(Mar. 28, 2016) On March 18, 2016, the Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária, ANVISA) enacted Collegiate Board Resolution No. 66 (Resolução da Diretoria Colegiada – RDC No. 66 de 18 de Março, D.O.U. No. 54, de 21 de Março de 2016), which was published in the country’s Official Gazette (Diário Oficial […]

South Korea: Five-Year Mental Health Plan Aimed at Reducing Suicides Adopted

(Mar. 9, 2016) The Korean government adopted a five-year plan of comprehensive measures on mental illness, covering the years 2016-2021.  The plan promotes early detection of mental illness and obligates the government to reduce co-pays for mental health care.  The government also plans to develop a campaign to reduce prejudice against mentally ill people.  (Serving […]

Sweden: Supreme Administrative Court Declares E-Cigarettes Not Medical Devices

(Feb. 26, 2016) On February 17, 2016, the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court issued a decision in which it found that e-cigarettes are not medical devices and therefore are not regulated by the Läkemedelsverket (Medical Products Agency). (Supreme Administrative Court 2016-02-17 ref 1385-15 (Case 1385-15), download at Press Release, E-cigaretter är inte läkemedel (Feb. 17, 2016), […]

Israel: Foreign-Trained Dentists Immigrating to Israel May Be Exempt from Licensing Exams

(Feb. 8, 2016) On January 25, 2016, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed legislation authorizing the Minister of Health to determine conditions for either fully or partially exempting new immigrants from testing requirements otherwise applicable to persons seeking a license to practice dentistry in Israel. (Dentists Ordinance Amendment (No. 6) Law, 5776-2016 (Amendment Law), Knesset website (in Hebrew) […]

Mexico: Congress to Hold Hearings on Marijuana Consumption and Legalization

(Feb. 3, 2016) The President of Mexico’s Permanent Commission of the Federal Congress, Jesús Zambrano, announced in late December 2015 that the two chambers of the Federal Congress would hold public hearings on the consumption of marijuana and related legal issues, including legalization, between January 25 and February 17, 2016. Both chambers agreed on November […]

Italy: Implementation of European Legislation on Tobacco Products

(Feb. 2, 2016) On January 12, 2016, Italy issued legislation implementing a European directive on the sale of tobacco and tobacco products; the new legislation will enter into effect on February 2, 2016. (Legislative Decree No. 6 of January 12, 2016, Implementing Directive 2014/40/EU (D.L. No. 6), GAZETTA UFFICIALE [OFFICIAL GAZETTE] No. 13 (Jan. 18, […]

Taiwan: Proposed Amendment to School Health Act Would Ban Use of GM Foods

(Dec. 10, 2015) It was reported on December 1, 2015, that the Legislative Yuan (the primary parliamentary body of the Republic of China (on Taiwan)) is currently reviewing an amendment to Taiwan’s School Health Act that would ban genetically modified (GM) ingredients and processed foods containing them from educational institutions throughout the country.  (GM Food […]