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Israel: Heavy Penalty for Violation of Smoking Ban in Public Places

(June 17, 2013) On May 20, 2013, the Supreme Court of Israel approved a plea bargain that included an unprecedented high amount of compensation in a class-action suit for violation of the prohibition on smoking in public places, in accordance with the Prevention of Smoking and Exposure to Smoking Law (5743-1983) (hereinafter Anti-Smoking Law). (CA […]

Denmark: Government Plans Health Care Reforms

(May 13, 2013) According to a May 2, 2013, press release from <?Denmark's Minister of Health and Prevention, Astrid Krag, the government is planning an overhaul of the country's health care system. (Press Release, Regeringen Udstikker Ny Kurs På Sundhedsområdet [Government Sets a New Course for the Health Section] (May 2, 2013), Ministry of Health […]

Germany: Patients’ Rights

(Apr. 23, 2013) On February 25, 2013, Germany promulgated an Act Improving the Rights of Patients [hereinafter Patients’ Rights Act]. (Gesetz zur Verbesserung der Rechte von Patientinnen und Patienten,Bundesgesetzblatt [BGBl] I at 277.) The Act creates the “treatment contract,” a special contract that by law now governs every relationship between a person administering medical treatment […]

China: Mental Health Law Takes Effect on May 1

(Apr. 19, 2013) On May 1, 2013, China’s first Mental Health Law will enter into effect. The National Health and Family Planning Commission, a State Council commission created in March through the merger of the former Ministry of Health with the National Family Planning Commission, issued the key points and explanations of the Law to […]

Japan: New Flu Special Measures Act Moved Up

(Apr. 15, 2013) Japan’s Special Measures Act to Counter New Types of Influenza was promulgated last year, on May 11, 2012 (Act No. 31 of 2012). The effective date was required to be within one year from the promulgation date. (Id., Attached Provisions, art. 1.) Usually, in such cases, the effective date would be set […]

Australia; New Zealand: New Food Labeling Standard Requires Manufacturers to Prove Health Claims

(Apr. 11, 2013) On April 7, 2013, New Zealand’s Minister of Food Safety, Nikki Kaye, announced that she had signed into law a standard that will require food manufacturers to provide scientific evidence to support all health and nutrition claims made in relation to their products. (Press Release, Hon. Nikki Kaye, New Food Health Labelling […]

Japan: Three Vaccinations Added to Routine Vaccination Schedules

(Apr. 9, 2013) The recent amendment to <?Japan's Vaccination Law added haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), human papilloma virus (HPV), and pediatric streptococcus pneumoniae to the routine vaccination schedule. (Act No. 8 of 2013 (Mar. 30, 2013), amending the Vaccination Law, Act No. 69 of 1976.) The Law obligates municipalities to provide specified age groups […]

Japan: Court Decision Liberalizes Online OTC Drug Sales

(Mar. 13, 2013) The Supreme Court of Japan affirmed on January 11, 2013, that provisions of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law Enforcement Ordinance that banned certain online drug sales were illegal. (S. Ct., H24(Gyo hi) 279, Jan. 11, 2013.) The Pharmaceutical Affairs Law classifies over-the-counter (OTC) drugs in three categories, depending on the severity of side […]

Mexico: Directive Allows Sale of Pharmaceuticals Previously Approved by the U.S. FDA

(Dec. 14, 2012) <?Mexico's Department of Health recently issued a Directive that allows the approval for sale of certain pharmaceuticals in Mexico, provided that they have previously been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (Acuerdo por el que se reconocen como equivalentes los requisitos (…) y los procedimientos de evaluación técnica realizados […]

Israel: Amendment to Organ Donation Law Passed

(Nov. 8, 2012) On July 25, 2012, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed an amendment to the Organ Implantation Law, 5768-2008. According to explanatory notes to the original draft bill, the objective of the Law was to eliminate trade in organs and “to prevent taking advantage of the hardships involved for donor and recipient,” by criminalizing […]