Mich. Health Department Chief Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter In Connection To Flint’s Water Problems
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon and four other state officials face involuntary manslaughter charges stemming from the government's failure to alert the majority-black population about Legionnaires' disease in the Flint area. That outbreak is linked to the city's lead-contaminated water and caused the death of an 85-year-old man.
The Associated Press:
Health Chief, 4 Others Charged With Manslaughter In Flint
Five people, including the head of Michigan's health department, were charged Wednesday with involuntary manslaughter in an investigation of Flint's lead-contaminated water, all blamed in the death of an 85-year-old man who had Legionnaires' disease. Nick Lyon is the highest-ranking member of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's administration to be snagged in a criminal investigation of how the city's water system became poisoned after officials tapped the Flint River in 2014. (6/14)
In other national health care news —
The Associated Press:
VA Warns Of Surprise Budget Gap, Insists No Delays In Care
The Department of Veterans Affairs warned Wednesday it was unexpectedly running out of money for a program that offers veterans private-sector health care, forcing it to hold back on some services that lawmakers worry could cause delays in medical treatment. It is making an urgent request to Congress to allow it to shift money from other programs to fill the sudden budget gap. (6/14)
The Wall Street Journal:
Group Calls For Expanded Probe Of Premature-Infant Clinical Trial
The consumer group Public Citizen said it has found new, “serious ethical lapses” in a premature-infant study that it contends should lead a federal medical-research watchdog agency to expand an investigation into the research. Public Citizen said it has unearthed documents showing that oxygen-measurement instruments used in the baby study gave inaccurate readings, which could have harmed the babies. The group called for the federal Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) to look into the matter. (Burton, 6/14)
AMA Votes To Require Drug Makers To Disclose Prices In Ads
Seeking to restrain drug prices, the American Medical Association passed a resolution that would require drug makers to disclose pricing in ads that are aimed at consumers. The proposal, which was approved by AMA delegates at their annual meeting in Chicago, came in response to concerns over rising drug costs and an unsuccessful bid by the medical organization to convince Congress to ban so-called direct-to-consumer advertising altogether. (Silverman, 6/14)
Should Every Patient Have Genetic Analysis To Map Their Drug Responses?
Dr. Richard Weinshilboum is asking a big question: What if your doctor knew which drugs to treat you with before you got sick? The growing field of pharmacogenomics has made that possible. Patients’ genetic variants can be analyzed to determine their response to medicines used to treat everything from mental illness to cardiovascular disease. Typically, that information is used to help treat patients with existing health problems. But Weinshilboum and his colleagues at Mayo Clinic and Baylor University have launched one of the largest studies ever to examine the effect of testing patients before they become ill, so doctors can act quickly when problems arise. (Ross, 6/14)