House Changes To ‘Right To Try’ Legislation May Bog Down Chances In Senate
The original bill on experimental drugs passed the Senate by unanimous consent, but some House lawmakers eye modifications in its version.
House Eyes Changes For ‘Right To Try’ Bill
Lawmakers in the House appear likely to make changes to the “right to try” bill on experimental drugs, something supporters worry could make it harder to get the bill to President Trump’s desk. Advocates of the measure — which would let terminally ill patients request access to treatments the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t approved — want the House to take up the Senate-passed bill as is. But that’s unlikely, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said Monday. (Roubein, 2/8)
In other national health care news —
He Calls Animal Testing 'Taxpayer-Funded Torture.' The FDA Listened
Now the 39-year-old founder of an animal rights group, [Anthony] Bellotti last month achieved an important victory for opponents of animal testing. He played a key role in pressuring the Food and Drug Administration to shut down a nicotine-addiction study in which four monkeys died, and prompting the appointment of an independent investigator to look into the agency’s animal research program. Emboldened by that success, Bellotti is redoubling fundraising efforts for his fledgling organization, and publicizing more government-backed medical tests that he believes taxpayers oppose. It is, he suggests, a wholly novel approach to animal-rights advocacy, since no one has previously sold this idea as a way to cut government waste.
Planned Parenthood Begins Search To Replace Cecile Richards
Planned Parenthood is kicking off its search to replace departing President Cecile Richards, the organization's board of directors announced Wednesday. Former Planned Parenthood board member Anna Quindlen was elected to lead the group's search committee for a new president. The committee also includes members of Planned Parenthood's board and CEOs from affiliates in Ohio, Florida and Minnesota. (Hellmann, 2/7)
Abortion Fights Loom In States
Both sides of the abortion rights debate are preparing for a busy year of fights over when and how abortions may be performed in states across the country — and both sides are developing a long-term strategy that could involve a new challenge to Roe v. Wade. While it is still early in the year, several measures seeking to limit abortion rights have already advanced in Republican-dominated states. (Wilson, 2/7)
Opioid Law Enforcement, Not Treatment, Is Trump's Priority
More than three months after President Trump declared the nation's opioid crisis a public health emergency, activists and healthcare providers say they're still waiting for some other action. The Trump administration quietly renewed the declaration recently. But it's given no signs it's developing a comprehensive strategy to address an epidemic that claims more than 115 lives every day. The President now says to combat opioids he's focused on enforcement, not treatment. (Allen, 2/7)
The Washington Post:
Robin Williams's Suicide Was Followed By A Sharp Rise In 'copycat' Deaths
“Hanged.” The front page of the New York Daily News said it all in one word on Aug. 13, 2014. Above the capital letters, which filled nearly a third of the page, was a photo of comedian Robin Williams with a somber expression, dead at age 63. The headline, unfortunately, contravened the most basic recommendations of the World Health Organization and suicide prevention experts for how the media should cover suicide, including “toning down” accounts, to avoid inspiring similar deaths. News of Williams's death appears to be associated with a nearly 10 percent rise in the number of suicides in the United States in the five months that followed, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE. (Nutt, 2/7)