Breaking News
December 11, 2018 - Oral cancer prognostic signature identified
December 11, 2018 - How Can I Find Out What Caused My Miscarriage?
December 11, 2018 - Novel personalized medicine tool for assessing inherited colorectal cancer syndrome risk developed
December 11, 2018 - Study uncovers 11 new genes associated with epilepsy
December 11, 2018 - Cartilage tissue engineering brings good news for patients with cartilage defects
December 11, 2018 - Novel 3D printing workflow helps predict leaky heart valves
December 11, 2018 - Imagination can help overcome fear and anxiety-related disorders, shows study
December 11, 2018 - Are caries linked to political regime?
December 11, 2018 - Leader in Diabetes Clinical Trials Wins Naomi Berrie Award
December 11, 2018 - Scientists discover cellular mechanism that triggers pneumonia in humans
December 11, 2018 - Increasing mental health problems related to drug use in over 55’s
December 11, 2018 - High-intensity interval exercise could help combat cognitive dysfunction in obese people
December 11, 2018 - Annual flu shot can save lives of heart failure patients
December 11, 2018 - Researchers compare health outcomes for VA and non-VA hospitals
December 11, 2018 - Recommendations Developed for Psoriatic Arthritis Treatment
December 11, 2018 - Genetic analysis links obesity with diabetes, coronary artery disease
December 11, 2018 - Study shows that having genetic information can affect how the body responds
December 11, 2018 - UNAIDS Report: 9 Million Are Likely HIV Positive And Don't Know It
December 11, 2018 - Lund University researchers succeed in obtaining dendritic cells by direct reprogramming
December 11, 2018 - Breast tumors recruit bone marrow cells to boost their growth, study reveals
December 11, 2018 - Updated breast cancer screening guideline highlights importance of shared decision-making
December 11, 2018 - EHR-related stress associated with physician burnout
December 11, 2018 - AHA: 12-Year-Old Heart Defect Survivor Inspires NFL Player’s Foundation
December 11, 2018 - Breast cancer patients who take heart drug with trastuzumab have less heart damage
December 11, 2018 - Providing aid to those humans – and animals – affected by the California fires
December 11, 2018 - Even without proof, CBD is finding a niche as a cure-all
December 11, 2018 - Drawing leads to better memory than writing
December 11, 2018 - Researchers report novel findings on plant hormone
December 10, 2018 - A Tale of Two Labels
December 10, 2018 - Triple combination cancer immunotherapy improves outcomes in preclinical melanoma model
December 10, 2018 - A 14-year-old explains what it’s like to get a new heart
December 10, 2018 - Team Players Honored with 2018 Baton Awards
December 10, 2018 - Global report highlights how the changing world is affecting children’s physical activity levels
December 10, 2018 - Genes play a role in physical activity and sleep
December 10, 2018 - DDT in Alaskan fish shown to increase risk of cancer
December 10, 2018 - Laws to curb use of cell phones have greatly reduced fatalities for motorcyclists
December 10, 2018 - Argenx Provides Detailed Data from Phase 2 Clinical Trial of Efgartigimod in Immune Thrombocytopenia and Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial of Cusatuzumab in Acute Myeloid Leukemia
December 10, 2018 - University of Maryland doctors treat first breast cancer patients with GammaPod radiotherapy
December 10, 2018 - The heartbeat seat: Demoing new well-being technologies in a car
December 10, 2018 - Leading Cancer Researcher to Direct Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center
December 10, 2018 - Researchers explore how glial cells develop in the brain from neural precursor cells
December 10, 2018 - Study compares pain-related diagnoses in First Nations and non-First Nations children, youth
December 10, 2018 - Experts address sleep disorders following traumatic brain injury
December 10, 2018 - Scientists find answers to how cancer spreads
December 10, 2018 - Study explores why older people read more slowly
December 10, 2018 - Smart life-collar could save lives of young children
December 10, 2018 - Asbestos found in most NHS hospitals finds BBC inquiry
December 10, 2018 - Researchers use new technique to probe hydrogen bonds
December 10, 2018 - Music improves social communication in autistic children
December 10, 2018 - Some Brain Tumors May Respond to Immunotherapy, New Study Suggests
December 10, 2018 - Banning junk food ads to combat childhood obesity
December 10, 2018 - Skin Autofluorescence Predicts T2DM, Heart Disease, Mortality
December 10, 2018 - Largest autism sequencing study to date yields 102 genes associated with ASD
December 10, 2018 - Statins associated with low risk of side effects
December 10, 2018 - Episodic memory tests help in predicting brain atrophy and Alzheimer’s disease
December 10, 2018 - Study explores how schools address adolescent self-harming practices
December 10, 2018 - Pregnancy in adolescence linked to increased risks of complications in young mothers
December 10, 2018 - Risk Analysis publishes special issue on communicating about Zika virus
December 10, 2018 - Botox May Help Prevent Post-Op A-Fib
December 10, 2018 - African-American mothers rate boys higher for ADHD
December 10, 2018 - Graphic warning labels cancel out cigarettes’ appeal to young people
December 10, 2018 - Australian researchers to study gas inhalational anaesthetic and likelihood of cancer return
December 10, 2018 - Individual neurons located within the brain have implications for psychiatric diseases
December 10, 2018 - Researchers improve bariatric surgery scoring system to extend prediction time for diabetic remission
December 10, 2018 - HPV type 16 or 18 associated with cervical cancer risk in young women
December 10, 2018 - Cervical cancer risk is higher in women with positive HPV, but no cellular abnormalities
December 10, 2018 - Combo therapy not needed if low RA disease activity achieved
December 10, 2018 - Novel therapeutic targets based on biology of aging show promise for Alzheimer’s disease
December 10, 2018 - UC San Diego professor receives NCI Outstanding Investigator Award for cancer research
December 10, 2018 - Study evaluates placental mesenchymal stem cell sheets for myocardial repair and regeneration
December 10, 2018 - Blueprint Medicines Announces Updated Results from Ongoing EXPLORER Clinical Trial of Avapritinib Demonstrating Broad Clinical Activity and Significant Symptom Reductions in Patients with Systemic Mastocytosis
December 10, 2018 - Study clarifies ApoE4’s role in dementia
December 10, 2018 - Eating disorders now a top priority with Australian Government
December 10, 2018 - Neuronal activity in the brain allows prediction of risky or safe decisions
December 10, 2018 - FDA Alerts Health Care Professionals and Patients Not to Use Drug Products Intended to be Sterile from Promise Pharmacy
December 10, 2018 - Improving dementia care and treatment saves thousands of pounds in care homes
December 10, 2018 - Heroin-assisted treatment can offer benefits, reduce harms
December 10, 2018 - People covered by Michigan’s expanded Medicaid program report improvements in health, finds study
December 10, 2018 - Hazelnuts improve micronutrient levels in older adults
December 9, 2018 - History of Partner Violence Tied to Menopause Symptoms
D.C. Week: Congress Passes Spending Bill

D.C. Week: Congress Passes Spending Bill

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

WASHINGTON — Just before dawn on Friday, Congress passed another short-term spending bill that addresses several significant healthcare issues, such as the opioid crisis and keeping community health centers running, and it keeps the government open until late March.

Congress Passes Short-Term Spending Bill

Congress passed a stopgap spending bill early Friday that included 10 years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and $7.8 billion for community health centers (CHCs), and permanently removed a cap on Medicare outpatient therapy payments.

The measure passed by a vote of 71-28 in the Senate and 240-186 in the House; President Trump has signed it.

The bill, which will keep the government open through March 23, also includes funding for assisting victims of national disaster in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and it repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), an unpopular feature of the Affordable Care Act. It also extends CHIP for 10 years, up from the 6-year extension the program received in the previous short-term spending bill.

The CHIP extension is “just remarkable providing unprecedented security and certainty for the families that depend on CHIP, and the state governments that need more predictability to map out their own expenditures,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

Top Democrat Blasts GOP on Healthcare

Saying congressional Republicans have made “concerted efforts” to be “deeply disruptive” towards American healthcare, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) ripped GOP leadership during a speech here Tuesday.

Lawmakers from both parties need to “reach across the aisle” to address healthcare, he declared.

Hoyer, the second-ranking Democrat in the House since 2011 and House Majority Leader from 2007-2011, spoke at the AcademyHealth National Health Policy Conference for 20 minutes in a hastily-scheduled session that organizers had squeezed into the program only the day before. He rarely looked down at his notes as he addressed a packed hotel ballroom, seeming less like a politician and more like a man who had something to get off his chest.

“What America’s healthcare system needs is stability,” Hoyer said, hammering on staple Democratic themes regarding Republican efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act and the “dangerous instability” that has resulted.

More Help Needed With Opioid Crisis, Senators Told

Congress has made strides in helping battle the opioid abuse epidemic, but much more needs to be done, witnesses told a Senate committee on Thursday.

“The opioid epidemic is taking a terrible toll on pregnant women and infants,” Stephen Patrick MD, MPH, a neonatologist at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tenn., said at a Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on the effect of the opioid crisis on children and families. “Every day, people are dying. Pregnant women are not getting the treatment they need and infants are spending their first few weeks in withdrawal … These are our brothers and sisters and they need our help.”

Legislation passed by Congress, including the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, the 21st Century Cures Act, and the Protecting Our Infants Act “moved forward important public health priorities but would benefit from additional [reinforcement],” Patrick said. For example, “The Protecting our Infants Act resulted in a comprehensive strategy document from SAMHSA [the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration], but as [SAMHSA] notes, implementation is dependent on funding.”

Pressure Rises for Right-to-Try Bill

Earlier this week, two Republican congressmen sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) urging them to bring a “right-to-try” bill to a vote in the House as soon as possible.

The bill, called the Trickett Wendler, Frank Mongiello, Jordan McLinn, and Matthew Bellina Right to Try Act, passed in the Senate last August.

It would allow individuals with life-threatening illnesses to obtain experimental drugs prior to FDA approval. However, the law does not require drug companies to make their products available, and the FDA already has a pathway to allow such access. Industry in general has not sought changes to that pathway. Nevertheless, some in Congress are unsatisfied with the FDA’s policies and implementation and are seeking to loosen the reins.

“The fundamental purpose of the Right to Try Act is very simple: it merely allows terminally ill patients who have exhausted all other options to try medications that have passed basic Food and Drug Administration safety protocols but not completed the full, multi-year approval process. This bill safeguards any pharmaceutical company that may wish to participate in Right to Try, but it in no way requires participation to begin with,” wrote Reps. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) in a letter signed by 40 other members and sent to House leadership on Monday.

New 3-Drug Combo for HIV OK’d

A new three-drug combination pill for HIV-1 infection won FDA approval late Wednesday, said manufacturer Gilead Sciences.

To be sold as Biktarvy, the product includes the integrase inhibitor bictegravir and two reverse transcriptase inhibitors, emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide. It is approved for once-daily oral administration, with no food intake requirement, baseline viral load, or CD4+ cell count restrictions, Gilead said.

The drug combination was tested in numerous clinical trials. Last July, for example, investigators reported on two phase III studies in which the product was given as first-line therapy, achieving undetectable viral loads in 90% of patients. Those studies also suggested that resistance to the combination would be slow to develop.

Next Week

On Monday, President Trump is expected to release his FY 2019 budget proposal.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the FDA’s Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee will meet to discuss Exparel (bupivacaine liposomal injectable suspension) for “local analgesia and as a nerve block to produce regional analgesia.”

And on Wednesday only, the same committee and the FDA’s Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee will assess Hydexor, a fixed-dose combination oral tablet, “that contains hydrocodone, acetaminophen, and promethazine,” for treating severe, short-term acute pain.

Also on Wednesday, a subcommittee on Oversight and investigations for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce will evaluate the impact of healthcare consolidation

On Thursday, a health subcommittee for House Committee on Energy & Commerce will explore the oversight of the Department of Health and Human Services.

2018-02-10T12:00:00-0500

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles