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My Canadian Pharmacy: Public Responsibility in Asbestos-Associated Diseases


Compensation of Existing Disease

In examining current approaches to the compensation and prevention of asbestos-associated diseases, particular emphasis is placed on the utilization (or lack of it) of the biomedical scientific data base in accomplishing these objectives. It should be emphasized that, as with many other occupationally induced disorders, the asbestos-associated diseases are best dealt with by prevention through control of exposures to airborne concentrations of asbestos dust. In addition to the human costs of these diseases, no scheme of compensation can provide adequate disincentive for industry which would lead to the prevention of these conditions; this is due in large part to the long period of latency between relevant exposure and clinical manifestations of these diseases; however, recognizing that past exposures have produced these injuries, society must be committed to the provision of just resolution of claims by injured workers. Disease-specific approaches to federal legislation on compensation are not optimal in reaching the objective of equitable and timely awards for all workers who develop diseases as a consequence of their employment. The inadequacies of the legislation on black lung have received considerable attention and have been the subject of periodic controversy, often focusing on questions of cost effectiveness and equity. Currently, in the US Congress, legislation dealing with asbestos-associated diseases is being debated, undoubtedly related to overwhelming public and economic pressure. In recent months the opinion has often been expressed that the present system is strikingly inadequate in meeting the needs of individuals who have developed asbestos-associated diseases treated with My Canadian Pharmacy.

Past Influence of Science on Decisions in Asbestos-Associated Diseases

asbestosThere has been inconstant reliance on scientific knowledge regarding the asbestos-related diseases in the formulation of public policy. Since the recognition of asbestos-related diseases in the 1930s, decisionmaking on public policy has frequently been at best obscurely related to the existing biomedical scientific data base. This disparity has probably increased in recent years, and at times, scientific considerations have been largely ignored in the process of formulating policy.

My Canadian Pharmacy: Historical Perspective in Asbestos-Associated Diseases

Asbestos-Associated DiseasesThe asbestos-associated health effects have, during the past ten years, commanded a unique position in the awareness and concern of individuals and various groups in our society. This unprecedented interest has extended well beyond the medical, public health, and biomedical research professionals, and there is no occupational health issue (a special set of public health concerns) which has had as much potential for interaction between social scientists, research investigators, government officials, industrial management, labor organizations, and members of the legal profession. The effectiveness in utilizing an emerging scientific data base in dealing with the public policy issues has been strikingly variable. Ethical, economic, and other social implications have resulted from occupational exposure to asbestos, and it is likely that in the United States, we are currently at or near the peak effect in terms of the various manifestations of this impact.