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Amy Larkin

Recent Posts by Amy Larkin

February 26, 2015

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Categories: Health Policy and Access

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Beltway Buzz: February 2015

Measles Drama Continues: Tired of reading vaccine arguments on Facebook? You’re not alone!President Obama addressed ‘indisputable’ science behind the success of vaccines. Now Congress is on the trail, too. More than 90 bipartisan Members of Congress are trying to set the record straight with the “Vaccines Save Lives” resolution. The resolution highlights the “life-saving role of vaccinations and urges parents to vaccinate their children.” It’s supported by four major medical and hospital associations.   Get Pumped: Will there be a cure for HIV? Let’s hope so. After three decades of research, scientists have engineered a molecule that can block infection with the virus that causes AIDS. Researchers hope this is a first step towards developing an alternative to a vaccine down the road. The team hopes human trials could begin within a year. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for success.   Mail Order Meds: Trying to save some dough? The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association released a new report suggesting that mail-service and specialty pharmacies can add a little change to your purse. Consumers, employers and payers forgoing “brick-and-mortar drugstores” in lieu of small shops are estimated to save $5.1 billion in 2015 and $59.6 billion over the next decade.  Continue Reading

February 18, 2015

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Categories: Health Policy and Access

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Breaking Beltway News

Another One Bites The Dust: Big news for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Reuters reports that Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg has decided to resign in March. Hamburg was confirmed in May 2009 and is one of the longest-serving FDA commissioners. There’s no replacement on the books yet but the agency’s chief scientist, Dr. Stephen Ostroff, has stepped up to temporarily fill the spot. Reuters noted that Hamburg’s resignation comes during a possible transformational period, with Congressional interest in speeding up new drug development and President Obama’s desire to create a new agency to combine the food safety functions of the FDA and the Department of Agriculture. Stay tuned for updates… Senate Takes On Drug & Device Review Process: The term “do-nothing Congress” seems to be a thing of the past. On Feb. 3, Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), launched a bipartisan initiative to examine the process for getting safe treatments, devices and cures to patients. Plus, the initiative will examine the roles of the FDA and the National Institutes of Health in that process. A bipartisan staff working group will convene nextContinue Reading