Breaking News
May 20, 2018 - Why drug users prefer heroin at home, but cocaine while out
May 20, 2018 - Gene therapy that reverses blindness in dogs could also help treat humans
May 20, 2018 - Opioid-Related Payments Linked to Increase in Opioid Rx
May 20, 2018 - Phone apps push people to take their pills
May 20, 2018 - Backbreaking Work May Shorten Men’s Lives
May 20, 2018 - Harsher drug laws won’t stop violence, argues former police chief
May 20, 2018 - Cognitive decline in dementia is not reduced by exercise
May 20, 2018 - Detecting breast cancer with non-invasive ‘disease screening pill’
May 20, 2018 - Simple treatment may minimize hearing loss triggered by loud noises
May 20, 2018 - Alignment of mother and offspring body clock could prevent diseases such as heart disease and obesity
May 20, 2018 - New commercial data warehouse for life sciences
May 20, 2018 - Practice Intervention Targeting IV Opioids May Cut Exposure
May 20, 2018 - New study provides insight into blood signatures of inflammation
May 20, 2018 - Scientists make breakthrough discovery about vitamin B12
May 20, 2018 - What Causes Cancer? Misconceptions Abound
May 20, 2018 - Proper burial of dead cells limits inflammation
May 20, 2018 - Study offers novel solution to suppress metastatic spread of deadly breast cancer
May 20, 2018 - Perspectives of patients and caregivers on care transitions
May 20, 2018 - Guidelines for weight gain in pregnancy should be changed for underweight and very obese women
May 20, 2018 - Researchers transplant retinal sheets derived from human embryonic stem cells in retinal degeneration mouse models
May 20, 2018 - U.S. military personnel at greater risk for skin cancer than general population
May 20, 2018 - Your immune system holds the line against repeat invaders, thanks to this molecule
May 20, 2018 - Between death and deportation
May 20, 2018 - Developing a High Throughput Mass Spectrometry Platform for Drug Discovery
May 19, 2018 - New project aims to increase awareness among hospital clinicians of non-beneficial treatment at end-of-life
May 19, 2018 - Automated bone scan index offers accurate, speedy prognostic information about prostate cancer
May 19, 2018 - Rutgers Cancer Institute nurses research various topics to enhance patient experience
May 19, 2018 - Computer models provide valuable insight to structure and function of Ebola, Zika viruses
May 19, 2018 - Study exposes key tactic used by deadly fungus
May 19, 2018 - Bacterial signals are crucial to development of pre-leukemic myeloproliferation, study shows
May 19, 2018 - Global experts identify key issues in supporting children with brain injuries transition back to school
May 19, 2018 - Social connections may protect black men who have sex with men from acquiring HIV
May 19, 2018 - Study IDs Factors Linked to Quality of Life With Dementia
May 19, 2018 - Potassium — Consumer
May 19, 2018 - HIV-1 viruses transmitted at birth are resistant to antibodies in mother’s blood
May 19, 2018 - Some water pitchers are much better at removing toxins, shows research
May 19, 2018 - Scientists discover how unusually long strands of RNA help colon cancer cells avoid death
May 19, 2018 - International study finds viable treatment option for people with mild asthma
May 19, 2018 - Mayo discovery could enable development of personalized ovarian, brain cancer treatments
May 19, 2018 - ‘Superbug’ Surfaces at Poultry Farm in China
May 19, 2018 - UCLA-designed program helps former HIV-positive inmates maintain health after release from jail
May 19, 2018 - New blood test could help avoid more than 40% of prostate biopsies, study finds
May 19, 2018 - Macrophages play key role in maintaining stem cell niche of mammary gland
May 19, 2018 - Ferritin Blood Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
May 19, 2018 - Prolonged exposure to air pollution leads to genetic changes in rat brains, study finds
May 19, 2018 - Scientists identify new potential target to combat acute myeloid leukemia
May 19, 2018 - Ovarian cancer therapy may help treat patients with aggressive pancreatic cancer
May 19, 2018 - MediciNova Announces Opening of Investigational New Drug Application for MN-166 (ibudilast) in Glioblastoma
May 19, 2018 - Research shows that sexual activity and emotional closeness are unrelated to the rate of cognitive decline
May 19, 2018 - Nuffield Council on Bioethics outlines ethical issues arising from use of AI in healthcare
May 19, 2018 - Pancreatic cancer patients with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations fare better on platinum-based chemotherapy
May 19, 2018 - Tradeshow Talks with nal von minden Ltd
May 19, 2018 - Chemist begins new project to develop carbohydrate mimics to assist cancer therapies
May 19, 2018 - Healthy Lifestyle for Healthy Older Adults
May 19, 2018 - Epstein-Barr virus linked to seven serious diseases
May 19, 2018 - Biochemists isolate protein supercomplex from bacteria that generates voltage
May 19, 2018 - Mindfulness-based Stress Management Course for cancer survivors
May 19, 2018 - Simple screening tool can help identify people at increased risk for dementia
May 19, 2018 - Many gay and bisexual teenage boys use adult hookup apps to connect with friends, partners
May 19, 2018 - Maternal Exposure to Polluted Air Tied to Elevated Child BP
May 19, 2018 - Experimental drug extends survival in progeria
May 19, 2018 - FutureNeuro and GreenLight Medicines team up to develop cannabis-based treatments for epilepsies
May 19, 2018 - Brazilians with less education more likely to perceive as being in poor health
May 19, 2018 - Experts available to discuss subjects related to Ebola virus
May 19, 2018 - Opioid Makers’ Perks to Docs Tied to More Prescriptions
May 19, 2018 - AI detects patterns of gut microbes for cholera risk
May 19, 2018 - Researcher develops small molecules that inhibit derailment of gene expression in cancer
May 19, 2018 - Study brings fresh insights into biology of malaria parasite
May 19, 2018 - Microglia may play key role in slowing progression of prion diseases, research suggests
May 19, 2018 - Safety program successfully reduces SSIs in patients undergoing colorectal operations
May 19, 2018 - Clinical study supports usual medical care plus chiropractic care for low back pain
May 19, 2018 - Vermont legislators pass a drug importation law. So what?
May 19, 2018 - Trump proposes cutting planned parenthood funds. What does that mean?
May 19, 2018 - Cognitive training intervention reduces gait freezing in Parkinson’s patients, study shows
May 19, 2018 - Clinical trial begins enrollment to test safety of experimental MERS treatments
May 19, 2018 - Scientists disrupt two enzymes to shrink cancer cells
May 19, 2018 - 3D simulation reveals beneficial impact of medically induced brain cooling
May 19, 2018 - Natural antioxidant bilirubin may provide cardiovascular benefits
May 19, 2018 - Lash Group introduces latest solution for electronic benefit verification
May 19, 2018 - New CRISPR/Cas9 system targets regulatory genes of AIDS virus
More $$ Needed for Health Emergencies, Senators Told

More $$ Needed for Health Emergencies, Senators Told

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) needs more funding to effectively prepare for public health emergencies, an HHS official said at a Senate hearing Wednesday.

“We can’t do more things with limited resources,” Robert Kadlec, MD, HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response, told members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) Committee. “We have to highlight the fact that right now we’re operating with about half an aircraft carrier [in terms of the] resources to do this mission, to protect 320 million people. And that’s a challenge.”

“We have a $3.3 trillion healthcare system, of which we invest $250 million for preparedness … It’s just a drop in the bucket.”

The hearing focused on the pending reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA), a 2006 law that established Kadlec’s position at HHS and implemented several programs aimed at getting the nation ready for emergencies, such as developing and acquiring drugs and vaccines to be used when needed.

“We should be proud of the accomplishments of PAHPA and the progress made over the past decade,” said committee member Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.). “It’s created greater certainty and accountability … and established a clear strategy with which we can combat public health threats we face today. But despite this progress, we’re not fully prepared, and more work remains to accomplish this goal.”

The hurricane in Puerto Rico provided solid evidence that much work still remains, testified FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD. “The hurricane showed the importance of Puerto Rico to the medical product manufacturing base, and the inadequacies of our supply chain,” he said.

Saline solution in particular has been in and out of shortage for several years, and when one manufacturers lowers production there is stress on the entire system, Gottlieb continued. “One [major saline manufacturer] is Baxter and their [big site] is in Puerto Rico … Many plants lost power after the storm and roads were disabled … We worked to make sure they could get back on the power grid on priority basis to stabilize production.” The agency also worked to get saline imported from abroad.

But the shortage also had ripple effects, he added. “One strategy had hospitals compounding the product themselves, causing an increased demand for empty IV bags … The FDA is taking steps to address this situation; I’ve reached out to some [bag] manufacturers personally to [find out about] increased production should the shortage continue to increase.”

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) the committee’s ranking member, asked what was being done to help special needs patients during public health emergencies, including people with disabilities, children, and pregnant women. “PAHPA acknowledges that specific attention needs to be paid to at-risk individuals,” she said.

Stephen Redd, MD, director of the office of public health preparedness and response at the CDC, said guidance at his agency “requires states to have a plan for persons with functional needs. We also work closely with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to make sure those needs are being covered.” And in the drug stockpile that the government keeps for emergencies, “we’ve made progress producing products for kids, such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu) in suspension form which is targeted to children.”

While the law gave the FDA new authority with regard to pediatric dosing requirements, “we need better animal models … that allow us to predict what the therapeutic impact is going to be on the pediatric population,” said Gottlieb. “This is a scientific base that still needs further development.”

HHS worked to help patients with disabilities during the hurricanes, Kadlec noted. The agency’s emPOWER initiative, for example, “allows us to identify people who are dependent on medical equipment. In Florida we were able to do reverse 911 calls to people at risk, well before evacuation orders, to advise them that they should consider leaving before things get worse.”

The National Disaster Medical System is one area that needs more work, he added. “We would like to take the lessons we learned from Ebola, where we created a national center of excellence in Nebraska for infectious diseases, and replicate that” in other areas, such as pediatrics, as a way to create a critical mass of expertise.

Although the hearing was generally convivial, Murray expressed disappointment at the meeting’s outset that CDC director Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, couldn’t testify because of conflicts of interest presented by her investments.

“Our CDC director still has to recuse herself on some of the important health issues that we face, including issues related to data collection and information sharing, which are very relevant to the conversation we’re having today. I’m concerned she still can’t give her full attention to all of the pressing health threats we face, and I hope all these conflicts will be resolved soon,” she said.

Committee member Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) responded that, as chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, he had spoken with Fitzgerald on Wednesday “and I have gotten her in touch with the appropriate people to deal with the issue. She is forthrightly dealing with it to the best I can determine and I’m working expeditiously to see that we can get it done as quickly as possible, so she will not be in conflict to testify whatsoever. And that is her desire as well.”

The committee will continue discussing PAHPA at a hearing next Tuesday.

2018-01-17T16:45:37-0500

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles