Health, Medicine & Nutrition
AARP Thanks Iowa Senate for Passing SF 2298 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ann Black   
Monday, 19 March 2012 12:32

AARP Thanks Iowa Senate for Passing Legislation to Professionalize Iowa’s Largest Workforce: Direct Care Workers

Des Moines, March 12, 2012—AARP thanks the Iowa Senate for passing Senate File 2298 this afternoon, the first step to professionalizing Iowa’s largest workforce - Direct Care Workers.

 

“AARP thanks members of the Iowa Senate for passing Senate File 2298 today, leading the way to improve and support Iowa’s largest skilled workforce so that Iowa is prepared to care to meet our state’s future needs,” said Kent Sovern, AARP Iowa State Director.

 

A task force made up of members of Iowa’s direct care workers as well as industry providers has spent more than two years developing the recommendations proposed by Senate File 2298.  The legislation establishes core state standards for training, creates career pathways for advancement and specialization, and creates a Board to oversee these professional standards.  Currently, Iowa has professional oversight boards and requires qualitative credentialing for all plumbers, hair stylists, massage therapists and a host of other occupations, but does not require a similar credentialing for all direct care workers.

 

“AARP commends the Iowa Senate for supporting the recommendations of the Direct Care Worker Task Force and professionalizing Direct Care Workers,” said Sovern.  “This is the first step toward giving Iowa’s direct care workers the recognition and professional status they want and deserve, and creating the environment necessary for workers to meet the growing health care needs of our state.”

 

With an estimated 73,000 direct care workers in Iowa, these paid caregivers make up the largest segment of Iowa’s workforce.  Moreover, demand for direct care services is high and growing.  Iowa will need an additional 12,000 direct care workers by 2012.  High turnover is a persistent challenge.  This legislation elevates the profession by offering all Iowa’s direct care workers portable training and credentials.

 

AARP hopes SF 2298 will find strong support among Iowa’s Representatives to better serve Iowa’s long-term care needs as it moves to the Iowa House.

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Senate Approves Leahy-Grassley Bill To Increase Penalties For Counterfeit Drugs PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 19 March 2012 10:46

 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WASHINGTON – The Senate Tuesday night unanimously approved a bill authored by U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to increase penalties for trafficking counterfeit drugs.  The legislation responds to recommendations made by the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator and the administration’s Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Inter-agency Working Group.

 

The Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act will increase penalties for the trafficking of counterfeit drugs to reflect the severity of the crime and the harm to the public.  While it is currently illegal to introduce counterfeit drugs into interstate commerce, the penalties are no different than those for the trafficking of other products, such as electronics or clothing.  The Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act will target violators that knowingly manufacture, sell or traffic counterfeit medicines to the United States.

 

“We cannot allow the counterfeiting of life-saving medicine to be just one more low-risk venture from which international organized criminals can profit,” said Leahy.  “While we should not expect that enactment of this or any legislation will completely deter the serious problem of counterfeit medication entering the American supply chain, it is an important step in the fight.  I urge the House of Representatives to act quickly on this legislation.”

 

“Worldwide counterfeit medicines are a multi-billion dollar industry, and growing at an alarming pace, especially over the internet.  These medicines pose a serious threat to the health and safety of unsuspecting Americans,” Grassley said.  “The House should act as quickly as possible to ensure that counterfeit drug traffickers are punished accordingly for putting people’s lives at risk with this serious crime.  ”

 

The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Robert Casey (D-Pa.).  Companion legislation in the House of Representatives was introduced last year by Representatives Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) and Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.).

 

It has been reported that counterfeit drugs result in 100,000 fatalities globally each year, and account for an estimated $75 billion in annual revenue for criminal enterprises.

 

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Colon Cancer Free QC PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Jake Glimco   
Monday, 19 March 2012 07:47

 
Study May Prove PTSD is a Medical, Not Psychological, Condition PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 19 March 2012 07:22

A Chicago physician is recruiting veterans with PTSD for a study of a medical treatment that erases symptoms in 30 minutes.

With $82,000 in funding from the state of Illinois, Dr. Eugene Lipov (www.ChicagoMedicalInnovations.org), author of Exit Strategy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, plans to treat 10 patients and follow up with biological marker tests that would help prove his theory that PTSD is a medical, not a psychological, condition. He’s seeking corporate donations to broaden the study in order to hasten the Veterans Administration’s acceptance of the procedure, which has been used to treat 95 patients.

“The Veterans Administration’s treatment for PTSD involves intensive psychological therapy and psychotropic drugs that works only about half the time and can take months or years,” Lipov says. “My treatment, stellate ganglion block (SGB), involves two injections and works very quickly. In 80 to 85 percent of patients, it completely erases symptoms.”

Lipov has treated 50 patients with SGB, an injection of anesthesia into a cluster of nerves in the neck. His success stories date back to his first patient, who remains symptom-free after three years. Another 45 or so veterans have undergone the treatment at four military institutions, including a small study still underway at the Naval Medical Center San Diego.

He theorizes that SGB works because it reduces excessive levels of cortisol, nerve growth factor and norepinephrine in the brain, all stimulated as an organic response to stress.

“This study will be the first that includes checking for post-treatment biomarkers,” Lipov says. “If I can show there’s a biological change, that the treatment’s success isn’t just a placebo effect, I can get more acceptance. Right now, part of the problem is credulity – people can’t believe there’s such a simple solution to a complex problem.”

Treating PTSD with SGB is a new application for a procedure that’s been safely used to treat other conditions since 1925. Lipov has FDA approval for its use for PTSD and recently it was approved for experimental studies by the Institutional Review Board.

But despite congressional support, he has been unable to secure federal funding for a large study that would hasten the treatment’s acceptance by the Veterans Administration. So he’s seeking private and corporate donors to match Illinois’ contribution to his non-profit, Chicago Medical Innovations, so he can expand the biomarker study. People who buy his book Exit Strategy, about the latest PTSD developments, also help fund veterans’ treatments; Lipov donates $5 from each book sale toward the two $1,000 injections.

“The more money I raise, the more patients I can treat, and the more veterans who get better, the more I can publish the results,” Lipov said. “Basically, the more impressive the numbers, the more lives are saved.”

An estimated 300,000 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan suffered post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression, according to a Rand Corp. report. The debilitating condition is characterized by outbursts of rage, terrifying flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety and other issues that lead to substance abuse, violent crimes, joblessness and homelessness.

About Dr. Eugene Lipov

Dr. Lipov graduated from Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and completed two-year residencies in surgery and anesthesiology before receiving advanced training in pain management at Rush University Medical Center, where he worked as an assistant professor of pain management. Today he is the medical director of Advanced Pain Centers in Hoffman Estates, Ill. He has published research articles in several medical journals.

 
discount drug program accounting sought PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Grassley Press   
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 13:44

Grassley, Enzi, Hatch, Pitts Seek Details of Discount Drug Program

 

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley, Sen. Michael Enzi, Sen. Orrin Hatch,  and Rep. Joe Pitts today asked a wide range of stakeholders for a detailed accounting of how they operate the 340B program, a discount drug program that’s meant to supply federally funded grantees and other safety net health care providers but whose exploding growth raises questions about program integrity.

 

A June 2011 Health and Human Services Inspector General report raised questions of program integrity without proper federal oversight of taxpayer dollars.  Likewise, a report from the Government Accountability Office issued in September 2011 said federal oversight of the program is “inadequate” to ensure that covered entities and manufacturers are in compliance with program requirements.

 

“With the reliance on self-policing among participating manufacturers and covered entities and the increase in the number of new settings in which the program is offered, the risk of improper purchases or diversion of 340B drugs has significantly increased,” the members wrote.  “The problems identified by the GAO as it relates to the oversight responsibilities of each party and the expansion of the program need resolution.”

 

Grassley, Enzi, Hatch, and Pitts wrote to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America; the Biotechnology Industry Organization; Apexus, Inc.; and the Safety Net Hospitals for Pharmaceutical Access.  The legislators said that with so many stakeholders involved in the program, everyone must work together to ensure the program is serving the intended beneficiaries.

 

The members’ three letters are available here, here and here.

 

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