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Early experimental COVID-19 therapies: associations with length of hospital stay, mortality and related costs

Original article
Vernaz N, Agoritsas T, Calmy A, Gayet-Ageron A, Gold G, Perrier A, Picard F, Prendki V, Reny JL, Samer C, Stirnemann J, Vetter P, Zanella MC, Zekry D, Baggio S
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20446

Prescribing experimental therapies for COVID-19 was not associated with a reduced length of hospital stay and might have increased the pressure put on healthcare systems.

The Swiss STAR trial – an evaluation of target groups for sexually transmitted infection screening in the sub-sample of women

Original article
Vernazza PL, Rasi M, Ritzler M, Dost F, Stoffel M, Aebi-Popp K, Hauser CV, Esson C, Lange K, Risch L, Schmidt AJ
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20393

HIV and HCV do not appear to pose a major public health problem among female sex workers in Switzerland, whereas vaccination against HBV should be promoted. Female sex workers showed high rates of sexually transmitted infections requiring treatment to reduce transmission to clients and/or steady partners. Female sex workers should be offered low-cost or free STI screening as a public health priority.

The Swiss STAR trial – an evaluation of target groups for sexually transmitted infection screening in the sub-sample of men

Original article
Schmidt AJ, Rasi M, Esson C, Christinet V, Ritzler M, Lung T, Hauser CV, Stöckle M, Jouinot F, Lehner A, Lange K, Konrad T, Vernazza PL
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20392

Among men who have sex with men (MSM), but not among other multi-partner men, sexually transmitted infections, mostly asymptomatic, are common. Given the high risk of onward transmission, low-cost or free routine screening of multi-partner MSM is a public health priority.

Towards novel reimbursement models for expensive advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs)

Original article
Picecchi D, Bertram K, Brücher D, Bauer M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20355

This article analyses the current legal framework in Switzerland and critically evaluates existing reimbursement models, particularly with respect to their adaptation for advanced therapy medicinal products. As a promising reimbursement arrangement, this paper proposes a model combining outcome-based instalment payments with aspects of the pay for performance and the annuity payment model. 

Early evidence of effectiveness of digital contact tracing for SARS-CoV-2 in Switzerland

Original article
Salathé M, Althaus C, Anderegg N, Antonioli D, Ballouz T, Bugnon E, Čapkun S, Jackson D, Kim SI, Larus J, Low N, Lueks W, Menges D, Moullet C, Payer M, Riou J, Stadler T, Troncoso C, Vayena E, von Wyl V
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20457

Digital contact tracing is an effective complementary tool for controlling the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Continued technical improvement and international compatibility can further increase the efficacy, particularly also across country borders.

37-year incidence and mortality time trends of common cancer types by sex, age, and stage in the canton of Zurich

Original article
Wanner M, Matthes KL, Karavasiloglou N, Limam M, Korol D, Rohrmann S
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20388

The Cancer Registry Zurich, Zug, Schaffhausen and Schwyz is one of the oldest cancer registries in Switzerland, first registering tumours in 1980 for the canton of Zurich. The aim of this study was to analyse trends in incidence and mortality for the most common types of cancer in the canton of Zurich from 1981 to 2017.

Social mixing and risk exposures for SARS-CoV-2 infections in elderly persons

Original article
Haag C, Höglinger M, Moser A, Hämmig O, Puhan M, von Wyl V
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20416

Although many elderly persons continued to follow the recommended preventive measures during the transitional phase between the two pandemic waves, social mixing with younger persons constitutes a way for transmission of infections across age groups. Pandemic containment among all age groups thus remains essential to protect vulnerable populations, including the elderly.

Perceptions of immunity and vaccination certificates among the general population: a nested study within a serosurvey of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (SEROCoV-POP)

Original article
Nehme M, Stringhini S, Guessous I, SEROCoV-POP study team
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20398

The information from this study is important, especially the differences based on context and the socio-demographic variations, and should be taken into account if COVID-19-related certificates are to be implemented.

A multicentre study of the trend of adverse events during outpatient anaesthesia in Switzerland during 2000-2016

Original article
Laaboub N, Savidan A, Pittet V, Faouzi M, Burnand B, Taffé P
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20365

The occurrence of intraoperative adverse events in ambulatory anaesthesia has continuously decreased between 2000 and 2016. This trend is essentially attributable to a reduction in the incidence of technical, cardiovascular and organisational events.

Problems faced by Syrian refugees and asylum seekers in Switzerland

Original article
Kiselev N, Pfaltz M, Schick M, Bird M, Pernille H, Sijbrandij M, de Graaff AM, Schnyder U, Morina N
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20381

Authorities, practitioners and researchers should recognize that Syrian refugees and asylum seekers are strongly affected by a broad range of problems. Besides practical problems, they suffer a multitude of psychological problems, and a significant number of them report, among other issues, symptoms of mental health disorders.

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