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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 […]

Italy: Supreme Court Ruling on Mobile Phones and Tumors

(Oct. 23, 2012) On October 18, 2012, it was reported that <?Italy's Supreme Court had handed down a ruling based on its acceptance of the argument that there is a causal connection between extensive cell phone use and the development of a brain tumor. The Court agreed with the appellant's claim that the growth of […]

China: Blacklist System to Be Established for Pharmaceutical Safety

(Oct. 5, 2012) On August 13, 2012, China’s State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) issued the Provisions for the Administration of a Drug Safety Blacklist (for Trial Implementation), to establish a blacklist system for pharmaceutical safety. The Provisions took effect on October 1, 2012. (Text of the Provisions [in Chinese], SFDA website (Aug. 15, 2012).) […]

Russia: Physicians Required to Make House Calls

(Aug. 20, 2012) On June 27, 2012, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation registered new Rules of Initial Medical Assistance issued by the Health Care and Social Protection Ministry. (Text [in Russian], CONSULTANT (last visited Aug. 20, 2012).) While regulating the system of primary health care provision, the Rules establish that family physicians […]

Turkey: Law Restricting Caesarean Births

(July 17, 2012) Turkey's Parliament passed a new law on July 4, 2012, to limit births by Cesarean section to cases of medical necessity. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had declared his opposition to C-section births in May and referred to abortion as a crime; his remarks reportedly were the impetus for the adoption of […]

Brazil: New Law Criminalizes Collateral Security for Emergency Medical Care

(June 5, 2012) On May 28, 2012, the Brazilian government promulgated Law No. 12,653, to prohibit the practice of asking for collateral security (cheque caução) or asking a patient to fill out administrative forms as a prior condition for providing emergency medical care in health care institutions. (Christina Machado, Exigir Cheque Caução para Atendimento Médico […]

Kenya: Court Orders Parliament to Review Law Threatening Access to Generic Medicine

(Apr. 25, 2012) On April 20, 2012, Kenya's High Court ordered the revision of the Anti-Counterfeit Act of 2008 on the grounds that in its current form the Act threatens access to affordable generic medicine. (Kenya Ruling Upholds Access to Generic Drugs, ANGOP (Apr. 21, 2012).) The ruling follows an April 2010 order that had […]

Japan: New Permissible Levels of Radioactivity in Foods

(Apr. 9, 2012) There were no legally binding standards for acceptable levels of radioactivity in food in Japan when the Great East Japan Earthquake hit the country in March 2011. The Food Sanitation Law, however, had a provision that prohibits the sale, use, or supply of foods that are poisonous or harmful for human consumption. […]