First Edition June 30 2012

first_imgToday’s headlines include recent reports about both the policies and politics related to the health law’s implementation.  Kaiser Health News: Tennessee Cuts Medicaid Benefit Funding For Some Long-Term Care PatientsReporting for Kaiser Health News, in collaboration with The Washington Post, Guy Gugliotta writes: “In a unique experiment being watched nationally, Tennessee is revising its Medicaid long-term care options to make it harder for certain low-income elderly people to qualify for state-paid nursing home care” (Gugliotta, 7/29). Read the story.Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Gold Medal Mention For U.K. National Health Service; New Funds Could Shorten AIDS Drug Waiting ListsNow on Kaiser Health News’ blog, Lexie Verdon reports on how health care played into the Olympics’ opening ceremony: “The opening ceremony for the London Olympics Friday night was full of surprises: The ‘queen’ parachuting with James Bond into the Olympic stadium, an appearance by the evil Voldemort of Harry Potter fame. But maybe the most surprising for health wonks was the tribute to the National Health Service (NHS). That last salute came in a whimsical segment that organizers said honored ‘two of Britain’s greatest achievements: its amazing body of children’s literature and its National Health Service.’ It was part of the highly choreographed section of the program that explored British history and achievements” (Verdon, 7/29).Also on the blog, WABE’s Jim Burress, working in collaboration with Kaiser Health News and NPR, reports on AIDS drug waiting lists: “The Obama administration announced nearly $80 million in grants to increase access to HIV/AIDS care across the United States last week – but will it be enough to eliminate waiting lists for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program?” (Burress, 7/28). Check out what else is on the blog.Kaiser Health News also tracked weekend health policy headlines, including thoughts from Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court’s health law ruling (7/29).NPR: Affordable Care Act’s Insurance Rebates In The MailRobert Siegel talks with Julie Rovner about an immediate effect of the new health care law — rebate checks — how they vary, and why some insurers owe Americans money (Rovner and Siegel, 7/27).The Washington Post: Health Insurance Mandate Faces Huge Resistance In OklahomaThe Supreme Court may have declared that the government can order Americans to get health insurance, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to sign up. Nowhere is that more evident than Oklahoma, a conservative state with an independent streak and a disdain for the strong arm of government. The state cannot even get residents to comply with car insurance laws; roughly a quarter of the drivers here lack it, one of the highest rates in the country (Somashekhar, 7/29).Politico: GOP May Let Contraception Rule Take Effect Without A FightThis spring, Republicans were on a mission: repeal the Obama administration’s rule to require employers to cover birth control. House Speaker John Boehner even stood on the floor of the House in February and promised that Congress would act. “This attack by the federal government on religious freedom in our country must not stand and will not stand,” Boehner said. But now, with the rule set to take effect Wednesday — part of the “Obamacare” law the GOP hates so much — the fiery repeal rhetoric has fizzled. In fact, few on Capitol Hill are saying anything about it at all (Haberkorn and Smith, 7/27).NPR: GOP Says Coverage For The Uninsured Is No Longer The PriorityFor decades, the primary goal of those who would fix the U.S. health system has been to help people without insurance get coverage. Now, it seems, all that may be changing. At least some top Republicans are trying to steer the health debate away from the problem of the uninsured. The shift in emphasis is a subtle one, but it’s noticeable (Rovner, 7/27).The Washington Post: Rep. Dave Camp Patiently Pursues Tax ReformThen there’s the politically explosive question of whether to generate extra cash to help rein in the national debt, as Democrats and bipartisan budget experts demand. Most Republicans are hostile to that idea, but Camp has shown some flexibility. Last fall, as a member of the deficit-reduction “supercommittee,” he entered talks with Baucus over a reform plan that would have raised $600 billion over 10 years in exchange for significant reductions in Social Security and Medicare spending (Montgomery, 7/28).Los Angeles Times: Annual Retainer Fee Buys Patients More Time With Their DoctorsFrustrated with a changing healthcare system that has resulted in longer work days and less time with patients, a growing number of doctors in California and across the nation are turning to a new type of practice — concierge medicine (Gorman, 7/29).The New York Times: Doctor Shortage Likely To Worsen With Health LawThe Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that in 2015 the country will have 62,900 fewer doctors than needed. And that number will more than double by 2025, as the expansion of insurance coverage and the aging of baby boomers drive up demand for care. Even without the health care law, the shortfall of doctors in 2025 would still exceed 100,000. Health experts, including many who support the law, say there is little that the government or the medical profession will be able to do to close the gap by 2014, when the law begins extending coverage to about 30 million Americans. It typically takes a decade to train a doctor (Lowrey and Pear, 7/28).The Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics: White House Projects Larger Savings On Big-Ticket Items In New ReportBuried in the White House’s annual “mid-session review” budget update on Friday are some steep reductions in projected spending for some of the government’s largest expenditures — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and interest on the debt. The White House on Friday updated its outlook for the U.S. economy, forecasting that the unemployment rate would be lower and deficits would be smaller than the Obama administration previously expected. The White House, however, lowered its projection for economic growth, saying it sees the U.S. economy growing 2.3% in 2012 and 2.7% in 2013. Previously, the White House expected growth of 2.7% in 2012 and 3% in 2013 (Paletta, 7/27).The New York Times: The Short Life And Lonely Death Of Sabrina SeeligShe arrived by ambulance at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, long regarded as one of the most troubled hospitals in the city, at 11:05 a.m. on May 30, 2007, conscious and alert but complaining of vomiting and dizziness. She was given a sedative that put her into a deep sleep, and her wrists were tied to the bed. None of her friends or relatives knew that she was there, and medical records show no measurements of her vital signs for hours that afternoon, suggesting that she was left unattended by the medical staff. By that evening she was brain damaged and on life support, with little hope of recovering. She died six days later (Hartocolis, 7/28).The Washington Post: Virginia Abortion Clinics Left Wondering If They Must Pay For New State RequirementsThe General Assembly voted last year to require the guidelines, which were quickly adopted by the state’s Board of Health. In a surprise move, the panel later exempted the state’s existing clinics. … But Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) refused to sign off on the board’s decision, arguing that it lacked the legal authority to exclude the operating clinics. Cuccinelli’s legal opinion has led to confusion — and uncertainty — among many of those who lead the state’s 22 clinics that perform abortions, because it’s unclear how the board would interpret his position (Kumar, 7/28).The Wall Street Journal: McKesson To Pay $151 Million To Settle Drug-Pricing McKesson, the nation’s largest drug wholesaler by revenue, deliberately drove up the prices of some 1,400 brand-name drugs from 2001 to 2009, state and federal officials alleged in a lawsuit. Prices for some widely used blockbuster drugs, like Pfizer Inc.’s Lipitor or Eli Lilly & Co.’s Prozac, rose by as much as 25%, causing Medicaid programs to overpay by millions, state officials said (Martin,7/27).The Associated Press: 29 States Settle Medicaid Rx Drug Overpayment CaseCalifornia and 28 other states have reached a $151 million settlement in a lawsuit alleging one of the country’s largest drug wholesalers inflated prescription drug prices, costing the states’ Medicaid programs millions in overpayments. California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced the settlement with San Francisco-based McKesson Corp. on Friday. In California, Harris says the overpayments went on from 2001 through 2009 (7/27).The Wall Street Journal: Court Backs Crackdown On Drug OfficialsA federal appeals court backed the Obama administration’s drive to levy greater punishments on pharmaceutical executives tied to corporate wrongdoing, saying the administration could effectively derail the executives’ careers by barring them from doing business with federal programs including Medicare (Kendall, 7/27).The Washington Post: Rebranding St. ElizabethsAfter nearly 30 years, four mayors, and countless proposals, the redevelopment of the District’s historic, now-shuttered St. Elizabeths mental health institution is finally underway. But District officials have identified one last hurdle to its transformation — and it’s strictly mental. Over the next few years, the city plans to work with developers to build an educational campus, housing, and retail on the eastern portion of the grounds. But after more than a century as a walled sanctuary for the likes of John Hinckley Jr. and the Mount Pleasant sniper, St. Elizabeths has something of an image problem (Shin, 7/28).Politico: Battling AIDS By Stepping Up Retention In CareTwo stubborn problems dog efforts to stem the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States: how to find the HIV-positive people who are outside the health care system and how to keep HIV patients in treatment once they start (Norman, 7/29). Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page. First Edition: June 30, 2012 This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Minn Exchange Will Add 316 Million For Repairs Cover Oregons Problems Lead

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Minn. Exchange Will Add $3.16 Million For Repairs; Cover Oregon’s Problems Lead To Political Casualties News outlets report on developments regarding state online insurance marketplaces. Pioneer Press:  MNsure To Pay Deloitte $3M More For Health Exchange RepairsMNsure plans to spend another $3.16 million for help from a New York-based consultant with fixes to its troubled information technology system. The state’s health insurance exchange agreed this spring to spend $4.95 million for assistance from Deloitte in assessing problems with the MNsure system plus help managing the project. Now, with the additional funds, Deloitte would help implement a plan to improve the MNsure website and related systems before most consumers start using it again on Nov. 15. The MNsure board voted Wednesday to authorize negotiations on the expanded contract, but Republicans criticized the decision because information on the proposed amendment wasn’t made public prior to the board’s meeting in St. Paul (Snowbeck, 7/30). The Oregonian: As Feds Probe Cover Oregon, State Has Approved Criminal Defense Costs For Five Former EmployeesFive former state officials have taken steps toward hiring criminal defense lawyers at state expense as federal investigators probe the Cover Oregon health insurance exchange fiasco. Triz delaRosa, Bruce Goldberg, Aaron Karjala, Rocky King and Carolyn Lawson have applied for legal coverage under a new state policy adopted as a result of the ongoing FBI investigation, according to documents obtained by The Oregonian. The policy pays up to $35,000 for the legal defense of a current or former state employee accused of a crime (Budnick, 7/30). The Oregonian: Among Political Casualties Of Cover Oregon Health Exchange Fiasco, Some Fared Better Than OthersSix state officials involved with the failed Cover Oregon health insurance exchange have resigned since December. But over the last seven months it’s become clear that some of the departed employees received a softer landing than others (Budnick, 7/30). last_img read more

High Drug Costs Make Some Cures Precision Medicine Unaffordable For Many Patients

first_img USA Today: Skyrocketing Drug Prices Leave Cures Out Of Reach For Some Patients Bloomberg: For Valeant’s Ailing Chief Executive, It Wouldn’t Pay To Leave And the Dementia Discovery Fund invests $100 million in a new avenue of Alzheimer’s research — A promising new avenue in Alzheimer’s research that focuses on the eradication of brain plaque by the immune system has become the first investment for a $100 million fund dedicated to delivering new dementia drugs within a decade. The Dementia Discovery Fund, set up last year with backing from the U.K. government and several of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, has led a $29.5 million investment round to back research under way at San Francisco-based Alector LLC. (Roland, 1/7) The Wall Street Journal: Dementia Discovery Fund Chooses Alector For First Investment This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Sophisticated drugs are opening the door, scientists say, to an era of “precision medicine.” They’re also ushering in an age of astronomical prices. Even with insurance, patients might pay thousands of dollars a month out of pocket. But patients aren’t the only ones paying. Taxpayers underwrite the cost of prescription drugs provided by Medicare, Medicaid and other public insurance programs. (Szabo, 1/6) If Michael Pearson leaves Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. now, it would be without a parachute. Two potential payouts would disappear should the drug company’s ailing chief executive resign for medical reasons. At the moment, he appears unlikely to return to work quickly, and on Wednesday the company appointed an interim leader. Pearson’s employment contract states that if he steps down for “good reason,” such as a demotion, he would be entitled to a $9 million cash severance. An exit for medical causes wouldn’t trigger the payout, according to the contract. (Melby and Weinberg, 1/7) High Drug Costs Make Some Cures, Precision Medicine Unaffordable For Many Patients In other news, Bloomberg reports that Valeant’s ailing CEO faces contractual and payout issues if he resigns for medical reasons. last_img read more

Ryan Urges GOP To Stop OverPromising Citing Health Law Repeal Attempts

first_img Government officials tangled on Wednesday over who was to blame for the crisis in Flint, Michigan, that allowed lead-contaminated water to flow to thousands of residents at a combative congressional hearing that devolved into a partisan fight over witnesses and no-shows. “A failure of epic proportions,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee at the first Capitol Hill hearing since the crisis in Flint emerged last year. (Daly, 3/3) Ryan Urges GOP To Stop Over-Promising, Citing Health Law Repeal Attempts “We can’t promise that we can repeal Obamacare when a guy with the last name Obama is president,” the speaker said. In other news from Capitol Hill, a health law dispute could hold up the OPM director’s confirmation; lawmakers hold a hearing on the heath care service deficiencies reported on Indian reservations; and a congressional panel takes up the Flint water crisis. House Speaker Paul Ryan called on Republicans Wednesday to unify and stop fighting each other as he tried steering his fractious party into an election year devoid of the collisions between conservatives and pragmatists that transformed parts of 2015 into a GOP nightmare. “We have to be straight with each other and more importantly, we have to be straight with the American people,” Ryan, R-Wis., said at a Heritage Action for America policy meeting. “We can’t promise that we can repeal Obamacare when a guy with the last name Obama is president. All that does is set us up for failure and disappointment and recriminations.” (2/3) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Politico: Great Plains Indian Healthcare Is ‘Malpractice’ Says Sen. Barrasso The Associated Press: Ryan Calls For Unity, Less Anger From His Fractious GOP The Washington Post: Affordable Care Act Dispute Could Hang Up Confirmation Of New Federal Personnel Chief center_img A long-simmering dispute over how the Obama administration applied the Affordable Care Act to members of Congress and some of their staff has been revived and could hang up the confirmation of a new federal personnel chief. In advance of the scheduled Thursday confirmation hearing for Beth Cobert to become Office of Personnel Management director, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) raised the prospect of putting a hold on her nomination. (Yoder, 2/4) Federal officials on Wednesday outlined a plan to improve care at hospitals that treat Native Americans in four Great Plains states, including creating a multi-agency group to focus on quality and patient safety and designating a single organization to accredit Indian Health Service hospitals. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services detailed the steps ahead of a Senate committee hearing on Wednesday afternoon in Washington that’ll discuss the quality of care at IHS hospitals in the region. (2/3) The Associated Press: Flint Crisis Reaches Capitol Hill, And It’s A Blame Game Senate testimony Wednesday painted a grim picture of the poor healthcare afforded Great Plains Indians — caught in a federal system plagued by substandard medical facilities and persistent problems in attracting health professionals. Despite promised reforms, three Indian Health Service hospitals in the four-state region are listed as seriously deficient by inspectors from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — leading to the sudden pre-Christmas closing of a critical emergency room facility in South Dakota. (Rogers, 2/3) The Associated Press: Feds Outline Reforms For Reservation Hospitals last_img read more

Opposition Builds Over Proposed Tennessee Hospital Merger

first_imgOpposition Builds Over Proposed Tennessee Hospital Merger In other hospital-related news, Johns Hopkins will expand urgent care to cancer patients while other hospitals are improving patients’ access to world class cancer care by linking up with top-ranked oncology centers. Outlets also report on developments in Massachusetts and New Jersey. Boston Children’s Hospital is teaming up with General Electric Co. to produce software that will help doctors more accurately interpret brain scans of young patients. Under a deal set to be announced Monday, Children’s and Boston-based GE’s health care division will develop the system over the next 18 months, then market it to hospitals around the world. (Dayal McCluskey, 11/28) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Modern Healthcare: Opposition Builds In Mountain States, Wellmont Health Hospital Merger  Modern Healthcare: Bringing World-Class Cancer Care Closer To Home Boston Globe: GE, Children’s Hospital Form Medical Software Venture  Boston Globe: 3 Mass. Hospitals Faulted For Failing To Report Patient Deaths And Injuries  Most cancer patients going through treatment struggle with pain, fevers and nausea, sometimes severe enough to send them to the emergency room. But the chaos of the emergency room and related stress are “an assault on your well-being,” said Richard Dean, who took his wife many times while she was battling ovarian cancer six years ago. He told Johns Hopkins Hospital officials they needed an urgent care center especially for cancer patients…Hopkins listened and, using some patient data crunching from Dean, who teaches engineering at Morgan State University, launched a cancer urgent care center in 2014 in space adjacent to where chemotherapy is delivered. The Hopkins center is open 12 hours a day during the week and plans to open on Saturdays starting in March. (Cohn, 11/25) center_img The Philadelphia Inquirer: Cherry Hill’s First And Only Hospital Gets $250M Update Five years ago, if a cancer patient at Cooper University Health Care in Camden, N.J., had a complex case, the attending oncologist would review the medical literature and call colleagues to solicit input on the best course of treatment. Now physicians can present challenging cases to a tumor board made up of experts in that particular form of cancer who come from Cooper and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, one of the nation’s top-ranked academic oncology centers. The two institutions formed the partnership in 2013. “It’s a very easy dialogue because we have this relationship,” said Dr. Generosa Grana, director of the MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. Cooper is among the growing number of hospital systems that are joining forces with renowned National Cancer Institute-designated centers such as MD Anderson based in Houston or Dana-Farber in Boston. (Whitman, 11/26) Cherry Hill was still called Delaware Township when plans for a “complete modern general hospital” at Chapel Avenue and Cooper Landing Road were announced in the late 1950s. Long since acquired and expanded by Kennedy Health, the community hospital that opened in 1961 is being transformed by a $250 million construction project and a pending merger with Philadelphia’s Jefferson Health. “There will be a total rebranding of this campus,” says Joseph W. Devine, president and CEO of Kennedy Health. (Riordan, 11/27) Massachusetts General, Brigham and Women’s, and UMass Memorial were among 17 hospitals inspected last December by the FDA. Regulators were concerned about infections possibly linked to contaminated instruments called duodenoscopes, used to examine the small intestine, and about the spread of uterine cancer when a surgical device called a power morcellator, which cuts up tissue, is used. Last month, the agency disclosed the inspection reports, showing that 15 of the 17 medical centers were either late in reporting cases in which patients were harmed by various devices or failed to report at all. (Kowalczyk, 11/27) The Federal Trade Commission and a cadre of prominent health economists are urging Tennessee officials to reject a potential merger between Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System. The move comes a little more than a month after the FTC made its own plea to Virginia regulators. Mountain States and Wellmont, both headquartered in Tennessee, have been trying to combine their competing hospital systems for the past 18 months. The two not-for-profits own 19 hospitals in Virginia and Tennessee. A merged system would have about $2 billion of revenue. Mountain States and Wellmont have submitted applications for a certificate of public advantage (COPA) in Tennessee and Virginia, which would essentially allow them to skirt federal antitrust scrutiny in favor of state oversight. (Dickson, 11/26) The Baltimore Sun: Hopkins Expands Urgent Care To Cancer Patients  last_img read more

On The Defense Pharma Lobbyists Say Lawmakers Need To Look At Big

first_imgOn The Defense, Pharma Lobbyists Say Lawmakers Need To Look At Big Picture When It Comes To High Prices News outlets report on stories related to pharmaceutical pricing. Industry groups expect President Donald Trump to formally take on high drug prices at an event as soon as next week. It’s set to be the first time that Trump, who has railed against the high costs of prescription drugs since his 2016 presidential campaign and spoke on the issue after meeting industry executives last year, delivers a formal price policy address. The speech is set to coincide with a request for information from the Department of Health and Human Services about how to curb drug costs. (McIntire, 4/30) Several patient groups are lambasting the U.S. Trade Representative over its latest annual list that identifies and ranks countries based on a willingness to protect intellectual property, calling it “shameful” and “outrageous.” Known as the Special 301 Report, the yearly exercise is of great concern to drug makers, which regularly argue that some countries fail to sufficiently protect and enforce patent rights. By the same token, the list is also closely tracked by patient advocacy groups for clues into trade and patent policies that governments may adopt concerning access to medicines. (Silverman, 4/30) Business looked challenging for Novo Nordisk at the end of 2016. As pressure mounted over the pharma giant’s soaring insulin prices, investors drove its stock down by a third on fears that policymakers would take action, limit prices and hurt profits. Then things got worse. A Massachusetts law firm sued the company and two other pharma firms on behalf of patients, claiming that high insulin prices of hundreds of dollars a month forced diabetics to starve themselves to minimize their blood sugar while skimping on doses. At least five states began investigating insulin makers and their business partners. (Hancock and Lucas, 4/30) The emergence of genetics-based medicines is pushing the cost of treating certain diseases to new levels, forcing hospitals and health insurers to reckon with how to cover total costs per patient approaching a million dollars. The therapies deliver new genes or genetically altered cells to tackle some of the hardest-to-treat diseases, including in children. They come at a high price: Novartis AG listed its newly approved cell therapy for cancer at $475,000, while Gilead Sciences Inc. priced its rival drug at $373,000. (Rockoff, 4/26) Stat: Too Many Companies Are Making Copycat Immunotherapy Drugs The Wall Street Journal: Executive’s Fraud Trial Puts Valeant In Uncomfortable Light CQ HealthBeat: Health Groups Expect Trump Drug Price Speech Next Week The Wall Street Journal: The Million-Dollar Cancer Treatment: Who Will Pay? Drugmakers are trying to navigate a growing storm over high drug prices as President Trump prepares to unveil new actions on the issue. The drug industry has traditionally been able to beat back actions from Washington, notably escaping unscathed in the fight over ObamaCare. But the climate appears to be changing.  (Sullivan, 5/2) CQ: Hospitals Fight Efforts To Curb Their Discounts On Drugs AbbVie has halted an early-stage clinical trial testing an experimental cancer drug acquired in its takeover of Stemcentrx, the latest apparent failure from a high-flying biotech company backed by billionaire investor Peter Thiel. The drug being tested, known as SC-007, is a type of antibody-drug conjugate, designed to home in on malignant cells while sparing healthy tissues. (Robbins, 4/30) The Hill: Drug Industry Faces Trump-Fueled Storm Over Prices There’s an overabundance of copycat drugs in the cancer immunotherapy space, with companies pouring millions into developing drugs that only add incremental value to patients. That was the general consensus from a panel of biotech experts who spoke Monday at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles — a commingling of Wall Street titans, policy wonks, industry leaders, and Hollywood elites. While excitement around harnessing the immune system to attack cancer is justifiable, they said, the way in which company resources are allocated in the immunotherapy space is skewed. (Keshavan, 5/1) The headlines, spurred by Amazon’s entry into the pharmacy business, were as entertaining as they were exuberant. One hailed the company’s 1999 investment in Drugstore.com as “a likely gold mine.” In Canada, the Globe and Mail predicted a sea change in shopping habits, titling its story: “Farewell, Preparation H aisle.” Nearly 20 years later, shoppers are still awkwardly perusing that aisle and getting their prescription drugs from many of the same bricks-and-mortar pharmacies. Drugstore.com no longer exists and never recorded an annual profit. (Ross, 4/26) The Associated Press: Pfizer’s 1Q Profit Up 14 Pct., Sales Just Miss Expectations Some lawmakers are keen on pursuing changes to a program that allows hospitals to purchase drugs at a discount, even as political headwinds make it a difficult policy to tackle in an election year. Hospitals are fighting changes on multiple fronts. They worry that lawmakers might limit the discounts and are urging Congress to instead defend the program. The Trump administration already proposed last year to cut Medicare reimbursements for the discounted drugs, and hospitals are challenging that rule in court. That case, which was dismissed in December, might be a long shot. But on Friday, the hospitals will try again and seek to convince the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that the lower court should restore the old reimbursement rates. (Siddons, 4/30) center_img Pfizer Inc.’s revenue was little changed in its latest quarter as the drug company shifts focus to a new generation of products and sorts out what to do with its over-the-counter medicines unit, which hasn’t attracted a buyer. In the quarter, rising sales of newer drugs including cancer treatments Ibrance and Xtandi and blood-thinner Eliquis offset falling revenue for longtime products such as male-impotence pill Viagra, which is facing lower-priced generic competition. (Rockoff and Lombardo, 5/1) Pfizer posted slightly higher sales and a 14 percent jump in profit in the first quarter, thanks to lower restructuring costs and a much-lower tax rate, but its revenue still missed Wall Street expectations. The maker of pain medicine Lyrica and the blockbuster Prevnar 13 vaccine against pneumococcal infections said Tuesday that net income was $3.56 billion, or 59 cents per share. That was up from $3.12 billion, or 51 cents per share, a year earlier, when there were more shares being publicly traded. (Johnson, 5/1) The fraud trial of a former executive at Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. is set to begin this week in Manhattan federal court, the first criminal prosecution to emerge from multiple investigations into the embattled pharmaceutical giant over its sales practices. In this case, prosecutors say Valeant was the victim. Using a statute often applied to public corruption cases, the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan has accused the former Valeant executive, Gary Tanner, and a co-defendant, Andrew Davenport, of defrauding Valeant through an alleged multimillion-dollar kickback scheme involving Philidor Rx Services, a specialty mail-order pharmacy. (O’Brien, 5/1) More than 1,200 independent oncology clinics have either closed or been acquired by hospitals in the last decade, and oncologists blame the 340B program and Medicare Part B for the consolidation. The Community Oncology Association on Monday said that 423 individual clinics closed from 2008 to 2018, while 658 have been acquired by or entered into contracts with hospitals; 168 practices have merged or been acquired. Some clinics send their Medicare patients elsewhere for chemotherapy, an issue attributed to Medicare sequester-related cuts to Part B drug reimbursement.But the association also said the 340B program contributed to the shrinking oncology landscape. (Luthi, 4/30) Stat: Patient Groups Slam U.S. Trade Rep Report On Bad Patent Players The Wall Street Journal: Pfizer Revenue Growth Stalls As Company Mulls OTC Unit’s Future Stat: In Rebuke To Pharma, One-Fifth Of Bristol-Myers Shareholders Favor Proposal Tying Pricing Risks To Executive Pay In a message to the pharmaceutical industry, 22 percent of Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) shareholders voted in favor of a proposal that requires the drug maker to compile reports about the risks created by high prices and examine the extent to which pricing strategies propel executive compensation. The vote, which is the first of several that shareholders in other drug companies will consider this spring, comes as concerns mount over rising prices, an issue that has put the entire industry on the defensive. For this reason, the outcome was seen as a key temperature reading of public sentiment. (Silverman, 5/1) Stat: Another Drug Acquired From Peter Thiel-Backed Biotech Appears To Flop Kaiser Health News: How A Drug Company Under Pressure For High Prices Ratchets Up Political Activity This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Frustrated by tepid sales and practical stumbling blocks, Regeneron and Sanofi are offering a huge discount on their treatment for bad cholesterol in exchange for a promise that health care’s biggest middleman will make it easier for patients to actually get the drug. Starting in July, the two companies will sell their cholesterol-lowering drug Praluent, which carries a $14,600 list price, at roughly 60 percent off to clients of Express Scripts, the nation’s biggest pharmacy benefit manager. In exchange, Express Scripts will make their drug the only cholesterol-lowering injection available to the 25 million patients on its formulary, freezing out a rival therapy from Amgen. (Garde, 5/1) Stat: Can Amazon’s Second Try Disrupt The Prescription Drug Market? Stat: Hoping To Boost Sales, Regeneron And Sanofi Slash Cholesterol Drug’s Price Modern Healthcare: Medicare Part B Payment Cuts, 340B Growth Blamed For Oncology Clinic Closures last_img read more

Three announces its 5G release date – and it claims its the

first_img This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. 5G We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy.center_img UK network Three has finally announced its 5G service will be coming to London in August and that it will be the ‘fastest’ next-gen mobile service in the UK.There is a slight catch though: initially, Three’s 5G service will consist solely of a home broadband service in London. This is a stark contrast to both EE and Vodafone who are both launching (or in EE’s case, already launched) with phones as the flagship product.Phones are coming to Three’s 5G network later, with devices launching when the network rolls out in 25 cities before the end of 2019.Three is taking speed very seriously when it comes to its 5G service, claiming it’ll have the ‘fastest 5G network in the UK’ when it goes live. We’ve so far been impressed with the speeds we’ve been getting on our OnePlus 7 Pro 5G on EE, so it’ll be interesting to see how Three compares.Related: EE 5G phonesThree says that is the only operator who can offer a ‘true 5G experience’ as this requires 100MHz of 5G spectrum.Upgrades are coming to the network’s 4G service too as it’ll be upgrading much of its 3G spectrum to 4G, adding completely new 4G spectrum and using some advanced antenna tech.Dave Dyson, CEO at Three, said: “It’s clear that consumers and businesses want more and more data. We have the UK’s best network for data and we have led the market on customer usage on both 3G and 4G technologies. We have worked hard over a long period of time to be able to offer the best end to end 5G experience. 5G is a game changer for Three, and of course I am excited that we will be the only operator in the UK who can offer true 5G.”Three 5G launch citiesThe full list of cities which Three will begin rolling out 5G is: London, Birmingham, Bolton, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Reading, Rotherham, Sheffield, Slough, Sunderland and Wolverhampton.Three is the third UK network to officially announce the release date of its 5G network. EE launched its service at the end of May in six UK cities and number of devices, while Vodafone’s 5G network will go on July 2.Here’s how fast the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G is on EEVodafone’s 5G service is launching in July 5 reasons why you shouldn’t buy a 5G phone….yetPricing and tariff details, along with devices, will be revealed by Three in July. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editorlast_img read more

MercedesBenz breaks ground on new battery factory for electric vehicles in the

Mercedes-Benz makes good on its previously announced $1 billion investment to bring electric vehicle manufacturing in the US – starting with breaking ground on a new battery factory in Alabama. more…The post Mercedes-Benz breaks ground on new battery factory for electric vehicles in the US appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forward

Mullen makes deal to bring Chinas Qiantu electric roadster to the US

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Mullen, a California-based electric vehicle company, announced that it secured a deal to bring the Qiantu electric roadster to the US. more…The post Mullen makes deal to bring China’s Qiantu electric roadster to the US appeared first on Electrek.last_img

Tesla Model S Shooting Brake Shows Up In Geneva

first_img Check Out This Tesla Model S Wagon From RemetzCar Tesla Model S Shooting Brake – What’s It Like Inside & To Drive? Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 5, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle News We’ve included RemetzCar’s earlier press release below:THIS IS THE BEAUTIFUL DUTCH ELECTRIC SHOOTING BRAKEDeveloped and built by renowned coach builder RemetzCarCommissioned by a Dutch shooting brake collectorDesigned by Niels van Roij Design, LondonSeries of 20 units plannedDutch RemetzCar revealed their full electric custom built shooting brake today. Based on the Tesla Model S, the shooting brake was commissioned by Dutch collectioneur Floris de Raadt, who is an avid fan of shooting brakes and has owned several one-of-a-kind shooting brakes. Mr. de Raadt is also an early adopter of full electric driving since 2008. RemetzCar earlier developed the exclusive Tesla Model S Hearse, building upon their extensive experience converting cars with and aluminium structure and body, like the Audi A8. Dutch designer Niels van Roij, who runs an independent automotive design firm in the United Kingdom was responsible for the Shooting Brake design. The project was supported by Dutch premium tyre manufacturer Vredestein.Mr. de Raadt explains: “The idea was to translate my Tesla Model S into a dynamic and sporty yet elegant Shooting Brake, rather than creating a car with maximum luggage space. Niels van Roij Design developed several options for the conversion, focusing on premium design combined with limited conversion costs: thus making coach building available for a larger group of connoisseurs. Our favourite was the option called ‘Bold Chrome’, featuring remarkable high gloss chrome window trims emphasizing the boldRemetzCar’s craftsmen translated the Niels van Roij Design sketches into the actual car, leaving the full core structure of the car as well as the crumple zones intact. RemetzCar also a developed a completely new tailgate, featuring a rear spoiler with hidden rear window wiper and brake light. To give the car an even more bold stance also from a front view, Niels van Roij Design added a chrome trim that runs from the A-pillars all the way along the roofline and around the panoramic roof. Finally, the team developed a unique colour, based on De Raadt’s wishes. The green metallic with a twist of gold gives the Model SB an elegant yet striking appearance.Right after the reveal, the owner will make a tour through various countries in Europe, showing the car to prospects and media outlets. It will have its public premiere at the International Concours d’Élégance Paleis Het Loo, held from 29 June to 1 July 2018 in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands. 6 photos Once again, we get a look at the Tesla Model S shooting brake.Just a few weeks ago, we learned that the Tesla Model S shooting brake (or station wagon), designed by London-based Niels van Roij would be making its way to the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Well, it has arrived in all its metallic green glory. Interestingly, however, RemetzCar was supposed to build some 20 or so of these variants, but those plans are no longer a reality.Since the initial plans, the company has closed its doors. This means that in order for multiple copies to take form, designer van Roij needs a coach builder. At any rate, the finished product is on display for all eyes to view in Switzerland.Related Stories About Tesla Model S Shooting Brake: You Can Buy This Tesla Model S Hearse For Almost $250,000 Perhaps showcasing the unique variant in Geneva is a way to get prospective manufacturers or wealthy car collectors with investment pursuits to bite? We really have no way of knowing what the future plans may be. Nonetheless, we still find this project pretty incredible in more ways than one.As you may remember, the design employed modifications to the rear half of the car, though the front half and powertrain remain consistent with the Model S in its traditional form. Check out the latest live images below.last_img read more

Nero relishing visit of old friends as Bulls look for their first

first_imgReuse this content Share on Pinterest Topics Since you’re here… Shares00 Andy Wilson Support The Guardian … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Facebook The new-look Bradford Bulls team who open their home Super League season against Huddersfield tonight will contain one ominously familiar face for the visiting team. Chris Nero was voted player of the year by his Giants team-mates shortly before his move to Odsal was announced last autumn, and the arrival of the unsung Australian second-row or centre is one of the main reasons why Bradford are fancied by many to launch a more sustained challenge for honours this season.”It was a big surprise to me that Huddersfield let Chris go,” said Robbie Paul, the former Bradford favourite who spent the last two years with Nero at the Giants before moving on to Salford. “He was one of our outstanding performers last year, a quality person as well as player, and he’ll be a massive plus for Bradford.”Of the four high-profile departures from the Giants squad who secured a first appearance in the top-six play-offs last season, Nero is thought to be the player their coach, Jon Sharp, was most reluctant to lose. Similarly, he was one of the major targets for Bradford’s coach, Steve McNamara, last summer, even in a recruitment drive that has also brought Ben Jeffries, Semi Tadulala, Paul Sykes, Wayne Godwin and Simon Finnigan to Odsal.”I think athleticism was an area we were light in last year,” McNamara explained. “We have brought a couple of players in who are quick, athletic and agile. Chris is certainly one of those.”In many ways Nero is the sort of overseas player the authorities are trying to drum out of the British game. He was a virtual unknown when he left the St George Illawarra Dragons for Huddersfield as a 22-year-old in 2002, relying on an Italian passport to secure a work permit, and for all the respect that his unflashy virtues command from his team-mates, he is not the type to put bums on seats. But for every headline-grabbing import who has contributed to Bradford’s success in the Super League era, such as the Paul brothers and Lesley Vainikolo, there has been at least one such grafter.A debut defeat at Wakefield last Sunday was not part of the plan for Nero and with Huddersfield soundly beaten by Leeds at the Galpharm Stadium the pressure will be on both teams tonight.”It was obviously a bad start for both of us,” Nero said. “We only had ourselves to blame at Wakefield and from what I can gather it was pretty similar for the Giants. But I know the Giants will be a force again this year because of the signings they’ve made and the players that were already there. I don’t think it will be too long before we’re both winning and challenging for a place in the six.”The mood should be much more upbeat in Perpignan where two of the opening round’s most impressive victors, Catalans Dragons and Hull Kingston Rovers, meet. That leaves only one Sunday Super League fixture, at the KC Stadium, where Hull hope to have Gareth Raynor back from a hamstring injury but will still be missing seven senior players against Harlequins. Share on Facebook Rugby league Share on LinkedIn Fri 15 Feb 2008 19.17 EST Share via Email First published on Fri 15 Feb 2008 19.17 EST Huddersfield Giants Nero relishing visit of old friends as Bulls look for their first win Share on Messenger Share via Email Rugby league Share on Twitter Share on Twitter Bradford Bulls Share on WhatsApplast_img read more

ISO 37001 – Who Will Certify You

first_imgNumerous prior posts have highlighted various aspects of ISO 37001 (see here, here, here, here, here, and here). I’ve generally been critical of much ISO 370001 commentary given that it seems like the only ones championing ISO 37001 are those providing ISO 37001 certifications.Beyond my general observations, I admit that much about ISO certifications (and the broader ISO world and its numerous acronyms) is confusing to me and perhaps to you a well.Thus, when I saw recent social media activity by Peter Osmanski (Director at the Claro Group) about the subject, I invited him to publish this guest post in the hopes that it would educate others.As the debate continues over the value ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management Systems certification, companies will need to evaluate the arguments and determine their own return on investment for such a certification. A critical factor to consider is the qualifications of the ISO auditors. One must understand that it is unlikely the abundance of qualified consultants and lawyers practicing in the anti-bribery space will be performing ISO 37001 certifications because, as discussed below, their firms are prohibited from providing both management consulting and accredited ISO certification services.There are two important considerations for any company contemplating ISO 37001 certification:Type of firm that can provide ISO certification.Relevant experience of ISO 37001 auditors.Type of Firm That Can Provide ISO CertificationISO governance and terminology can be a bit overwhelming and foreign to those of us not well versed in ISO standards. So anyone seriously contemplating ISO 37001 certification would be well advised to become more versed in the governance surrounding ISO certification bodies. The Committee on Conformity Assessment (CASCO) and the International Accreditation Forum are good starting points. Note each country has its own accreditation body(ies), this is the current list of accreditation bodies by country. In the U.S. there are two accreditation bodies who provide accreditation for management systems-related ISO standards: ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) and International Accreditation Service (IAS).Currently in the U.S. there are no U.S.-based certification bodies who are accredited to certify compliance with ISO 37001. ANAB’s website provides a list of accredited certification bodies by ISO standard and IAS’ website contains a similar search function.  ANAB, as part of its accreditation process, publishes the list of companies going through the accreditation process and there are no U.S.-based companies identified for ISO 37001. Therefore, in the U.S. your only option is to start looking to international options on the IAF’s list of accreditation bodies.Perhaps lack of demand is a factor. However a more significant factor is understanding the restrictions on firms who can become accredited to certify ISO compliance. Again if this standard is of interest to your company you are well advised to invest the time to understand how firms become accredited certification bodies because that understanding will help identify red-flags in your search for providers (e.g., non-accredited certifications, consulting advise/guarantees to obtain certification, collaboration with a certification body, etc.).In short, ISO 37001 is defined as a “management system” and in order to audit a management system a firm first needs to be accredited to audit management systems pursuant to the requirements in ISO 17021-1:2015 Conformity assessment – Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification or management systems (click here for a publically available summary of the requirements by ANAB).  It is 17021-1:2015 that contains the rules on impartiality that restrict the services a certification body can perform. Note ISO 17021-1:2015 is copyrighted and therefore a link to the source document cannot be provided; section 5.2 of the standard defines and discusses impartiality. Simply stated a firm who wishes to provide ISO certification services is required to give up any work defined as “management consultancy” by ISO 17021-1:2015. Essentially any type of service that provides a client with advice is considered management consultancy services and therefore include the services consulting and law firms provide in the anti-bribery space.Relevant Experience of ISO AuditorsThese restrictions on the firms are important to consider when evaluating who is qualified to perform an ISO 37001 certification. Be cautious of firms providing ISO certification who are not identified on these accreditation bodies’ websites. While accreditation is not required, presumably anyone can offer ISO certification but, understand the limitations of that investment.As previously noted, there are many experienced and qualified consultants and lawyers who can help your company meet the expectations set forth in various anti-bribery related regulatory requirements/guidance (e.g., Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual, DOJ/SEC’s “A Resource Guide to the FCPA U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act”, “OECD Handbook”, etc.) just understand those experienced professionals are not likely going to be who you will be hiring to perform your ISO 37001 audit unless they are willing to give up their practices to become ISO 37001 auditors.Furthermore, understand that ISO 37001 contains many evaluations requiring a subjective determination of criteria such as “reasonable”, “adequate”, “appropriate” or “proportionate” with respect to various compliance elements including, but not limited to the overall program design, risk assessments, training, monitoring, and due diligence. Absent years of substantive field experience as an investigator, legal or compliance professional the ISO auditor’s conclusions with respect to these subjective evaluations may lack merit.Section 3 of the DOJ’s “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs” contains the following consideration: “Have the compliance and control personnel had the appropriate experience and qualifications for their roles and responsibilities?” So certainly your ISO auditor who is evaluating your compliance program should meet that same standard.Hold ISO auditors to the same scrutiny and standards you would any other advisors retained to assist with your anti-bribery and corruption efforts.Obtain evidence the certification body is accredited by an IAF Accreditation Body.If certification body is not accredited obtain an understanding of the limitations surrounding their certification (e.g. lack of global acceptance).Request the certifications body’s anti-bribery and corruption experience and credentials.Request resumes for the lead and staff auditors.Require a detailed scope of the audit with justification and rationale for same.Final ConsiderationsWhether or not the demand for ISO 37001 certification increases remains to be seen. Perhaps the proponents of the standard could better articulate more substantive benefits to companies. The fact there are no U.S. companies accredited to provide ISO 37001 certifications is rather convincing evidence there is a lack of demand in the U.S. Only an increase in demand may result in firms with qualified resources giving up their consulting/law practices to seek accreditation to perform ISO 37001 certification audits. As companies evaluate the return on investment related to ISO 37001 certainly the competence of the auditors is a critical factor to evaluate especially if the certification will be used to justify a modification of other compliance efforts. Learn More & Register FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. Learn more, spend less. CLE credit is available.last_img read more

MA Slows in Southern States

first_img Remember me Lost your password? Password Usernamecenter_img Mergermarket Media reports that law firms based in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles dominated a shrinking M&A market in the 15 southern states, including Texas, during the first half of 2013. Only five southern law firms – Vinson & Elkins, Akin Gump, Andrews Kurth, Greenberg Traurig and Norton Rose Fulbright – ranked among the top 15 legal advisors. Kirkland & Ellis, which doesn’t even have an office in the South, was number 1 . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.last_img

Porter Hedges Handles Mega Oil Deal Publishing Deal in Same Week

first_img Lost your password? Username Password Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.center_img Remember me Porter Hedges represented Noble Energy in its $1.2 billion Marcellus Shale divestiture as well as Oildom Publishing Company in its sale to Gulf Publishing Company . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content.last_img

19 Blasting Caps Destroyed After Being Found Near Chiwawa River PinesBody of

first_imgFrom a CCSO Press Release: The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office reports that blasting caps found on private property near Plain, WA Friday were detonated by an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team from Yakima.  A citizen cleaning up an estate on Pine Tree Road in the Chiwawa River Pines Community had located 19 blasting caps in a shed on the property.  He reported the situation to the Sheriff’s Office just after 2:00pm.  A deputy responded and confirmed the items were indeed blasting caps.  No other explosive materials were located in the shed.The 53rd Ordinance Company (EOD) in Yakima was contacted and responded.  The blasting caps were taken to a large sand pile at the county shop area on Chumstick Road near Leavenworth where a controlled detonation of the devices was performed at about 7:00pm. There was a loud explosive sound associated with controlled disposal of the blasting caps.  There was never a danger to the community.The blasting caps had apparently been stored in the shed for many years by a previous residence of the property on Pine Tree Road.last_img read more

Happiness — A Report From the Slow Lane

first_imgby, David Goff, ChangingAging ContributorTweetShare2ShareEmail2 SharesI learned about something recently that has given me so much delight, and so much challenge, that I just had to share the prospect of it with you. I’ve been blessed this year to be part of an elder’s group and awareness of the viability of real happiness first came to me there. I feel such gratitude toward those who I am traveling with right now, because they (the elders) helped me to see something I had long ago forgotten could exist for me. Here is how it happened, and what it has constellated for me.One evening, during a meeting of the elder’s circle, as we were going around saying our names, and describing something we liked about becoming older, I was struck by the impression that I was surrounded by a lot of people who had become themselves. This impression intrigued me. Later, we broke into small groups, where the impression grew into a full-blown, mind-altering, realization. Growing older had meant, for some of us, that we had arrived, despite still having further to go, at a time and place in our lives, where there were no roles, rules, or expectations, other than our own. We were free, and many of us had become idiosyncratically and uniquely our selves.A rush of happiness came cascading in. I was surrounded by people who had become them selves. I was one of them; free to be authentic, different, uncertain, sensitive, foolish, erotic, crazy, and just plain me. At that moment I liked what getting old had done for me. Of course, I learned later that much of what distinguishes an elder from a merely old person had to do with how one responded to the hardships and losses of a long life. Freedom, and true elderhood, seemed to rest on choices that people made at the most difficult times in their lives. And miraculously, it seemed as if the best choices, the most effective decisions, had all been toward becoming truer to one’s self. In the midst of this group of self-possessed elders I discovered that happiness, my happiness, lay with cleaving to my own being.That wasn’t all the joy I was to discover that night. I was delighted and surprised by what came next. I hadn’t even gotten used to the idea that my life-long struggle, to be me, had actually resulted in my becoming someone, myself, when it became clear that just being myself made a difference. One of the remarkable things that distinguished this group of people is that they want to give something back. There has been much talk in this group, perhaps spurred on by radicalism, of an elder insurgency. The urge to provide some kind of alternative, met with the realization that becoming our selves was a radical, even subversive, thing, and an unbelievable joyous surprise was born. Merely being true to one’s self changed the world!During that meeting, without ever intending it, I was brought to the realization that happiness existed, and could be a regular feature of my life. All I had to do, to be generally happy, was be my self. If I merely held onto my self in my relationships, if I stayed true to what emerged in me, as me, then I would be free. Happiness and freedom became synonymous.In the weeks that have followed that realization, I have been reflecting upon happiness, and the limited role I have let it play in my life. I have discovered that I keep myself from being as happy as I could be, by letting my anxiety take me out of the moment. I have always been good at anticipating things, I liked to think I had the skill of a chess champion, looking ahead several moves. Instead, what I have realized, is best captured in the words of a friend of mine, who once wrote in a letter, that “anticipatory anxiety” was “the constipation” that “kept all the good shit from happening;” how true, and how unfortunate, for me.With the experience in the elder’s circle, and with this writing, I realize that I have made happiness highly conditional. My happiness has always been a product of my circumstances, instead of myself. By holding on to my anxious response to each and every coming moment, I have trapped myself in a non-existent and totally fabricated future, which would determine my well-being. I kept looking forward because happiness existed out there, instead of in here, where I am.I realize that circumstances don’t have to determine my happiness. I don’t have to attend to the future. That is a choice; it is a reflection of where I want to place my attention. I could be happy as a day-to-day attitude. I could choose to focus my attention on my marvelous ability to respond creatively to each moment. I have been granted the gift of not being a machine, with a pre-determined range of choices, I get to meet each moment naked. This freedom scares me. It seems like too much. I could easily fall or fail. I do all the time! But, I know that this is the way to learn to fly. And, I am happy discovering that this too is part of the potential that has been granted to me by Life.It turns out that I can be happy. I am alive, and I have been prepared for just this much choicefulness. I may be disabled, brain-damaged and egotistical, but I still get to have enough choice about how I relate to things that I can be happy. And, you know the strangest, and best, part of it all, is that I just have to be me, to be happy.Knowing I can fly isn’t the same as flying, but it is enough to render me happier. Knowing that flying, that being my self, is a service to the world, that makes me feel something else………. a grateful awe.  Related PostsSourcing The DepthsShe said, “a spring.” I said, ”yes, perhaps that’s it.” We were trying to think of a metaphor, a symbol, for what we could imagine emerging in the elder’s group.Analog Aging in a Digital WorldIt seems that as a society we keep throwing out the traditional baby with the bathwater every time a new cultural development occurs, just because it’s new. Here are a few examples of analog values we should retain that relate directly to aging.Old at Love, Young at HeartOur beauty changes, but it never goes away, it goes inside of us. And that inner beauty shines through all the brighter.TweetShare2ShareEmail2 SharesTags: Elderhood happinesslast_img read more

Rabin Medical Center in Israel selects RayStation for radiation therapy treatment planning

first_imgRMC is one of the leading clinical research centers in the Middle East and we are very pleased to meet their needs for high speed and accuracy. There is growing worldwide interest in adaptive therapy, and RayStation’s capabilities help make it clinical viable on a large scale.” Time is an important factor for a busy clinic such as Davidoff Cancer Center. RayStation is faster than any other system in computing dose with IMRT plans, and its algorithms provide more accurate determination of dose for homogeneities than our current system. RayStation allows the summation of previous treatments with current ones to provide a good representation of dose accumulation and constraints for organs at risk, which is something we are not currently able to do. It also has the most fluent workflow for adaptive radiotherapy; we treat more than 200 patients per day, and it’s important for us to ensure high standards of treatment while allowing adaptation of personalized plans in minimum time.” Johan Löf, CEO of RaySearch, says: Jul 3 2018Rabin Medical Center (RMC) has selected RayStation for radiation therapy treatment planning at its Davidoff Cancer Center, located in Petah Tikva, Israel. This is the first order from a clinic in Israel, and the installation will include licenses for 3DCRT, IMRT, VMAT and adaptive therapy.Following an evaluation of the leading systems, RMC chose RayStation due to factors such as its fast and accurate dose calculation and outstanding adaptive therapy capabilities. The purchase was funded by a donation from a patient, Ms. Desiree Dagmi, who was treated by Professor Eyal Fenig at RMC. Ms. Dagmi wanted to show her gratitude through a contribution that would help the center provide an even better service to patients.Related StoriesAVO and RaySearch enter into collaboration agreement to support the LIGHT systemUIH and RaySearch enter into new partnershipRaySearch introduces a new version of groundbreaking oncology information systemServing as a national center of excellence in cancer care prevention and research, RMC’s Davidoff Center is the most sophisticated and innovative facility in the Middle East for the treatment of malignant diseases, delivering comprehensive medical treatment to some 20 percent of the country’s oncology patients. The patient-friendly center integrates all of RMC’s inpatient and outpatient oncology services.Amineh Khatib Hamad, Medical Physicist at RMC, says: Source:https://www.raysearchlabs.com/media/press/?year=2018&cisionid=2980062last_img read more

Study illustrates bone ingrowth capabilities of Strykers 3Dprinted Tritanium cages

first_imgAug 2 2018Stryker’s Spine division today announced the publication of a pre-clinical animal study comparing the performance of spinal implants made from a variety of materials, which illustrated the bone in-growth and biological fixation capabilities of its 3D-printed Tritanium cages. The study was published in the July issue of The Spine Journal.The purpose of the study was to compare the bone in-growth and biomechanical differences of interbody cages with various material technologies in an ovine lumbar interbody fusion model. The cages involved in this study included traditional PEEK cages, plasma-sprayed titanium-coated PEEK cages, and Stryker’s 3D-printed porous Tritanium cages.The results demonstrated that the Tritanium cages exhibited significantly greater total bone volume within the graft window at both 8 and 16 weeks compared to the PEEK cages (p<0.01).1 Tritanium cages also were the only cages that showed a decrease in range of motion and an increase in stiffness across all three loading directions (axial rotation, flexion-extension, and lateral bending) between the 8-week and 16-week time points (p-value ≤0.01). Related StoriesStudy reveals dual effects of new osteoporosis therapy on bone tissueStudy: Megakaryocytes play an important role in cell migrationEngineered stem cells offer new treatment for metastatic bone cancer"The results of this study provide an evidence-based approach to decision-making regarding interbody materials for spinal fusion, as there is significant variability in the materials commonly used for interbody cages in spine surgery," said Sigurd H. Berven, M.D., orthopedic surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco. "The study showed the potential for bone in-growth into and around the Tritanium cages."According to Michael Carter, vice president and general manager of Stryker's Spine division, 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, allows the creation of a material with "precisely randomized" porous structures designed to mimic bone.2 "Stryker's proprietary Tritanium Technology, a novel, highly porous titanium alloy material designed for bone in-growth and biological fixation, is based on additive manufacturing techniques for orthopaedic surgery pioneered by Stryker over 15 years ago," Carter said. "This important study reinforces the value of our growing line of Tritanium interbody cages and demonstrates Stryker's commitment to bringing the latest in advanced technologies to our customers."Source: https://www.stryker.com/last_img read more

Former US Research Fraud Chief Speaks Out on Resignation Frustrations

While the ORI director has a lot of creative capacity and leadership capacity when he or she faces outward to the research community helping institutions better handle allegations or promote the responsible conduct of research, for example, inside the director is essentially treated like a flunky in a kind of backwater bureaucracy.Q: Did your departure have anything to do with the recent letter from Senator Charles Grassley (R–IA) to ORI asking why it didn’t impose harsher penalties on an Iowa State University AIDS researcher found to have engaged in misconduct?D.W.: It had nothing to do with the Grassley letter.Q: How is ORI doing with case management? Are they understaffed?D.W.: I wouldn’t say we were understaffed in the investigative division. But the number of allegations per year doubled between 2012 and 2013. And that may turn out to be a statistical blip. But previously, allegations came to ORI from a research institution or from complainants that usually had some connection to the research. Now, because of all the online publishing—including high-quality images and the ability of anybody in the world to analyze those using Photoshop-like analytical tools—ORI now gets allegations from people all over the world.I’d say that ORI is holding its own right now, but if this trend continues, of course it will need more resources. But the problem is in closing the cases.Q: What is the problem there?D.W.: ORI has two mechanisms through which it can close cases. One [is] called voluntary settlement exclusion agreements, in which ORI directly negotiates with the respondent and their lawyer. Or if they refuse or it’s a more serious case, ORI asks the HHS [Department of Health and Human Services] Office of General Counsel (OGC) to prepare a formal charge letter, which entitles the respondent to a hearing before an administrative law judge.Whereas ORI has closed 36 cases through settlement agreements in the last 3 years, OGC has only issued three charge letters in that same period of time [out of 11 cases transmitted by ORI since 2009]. Cases languish at OGC for up to 5 or 6 years. OGC argues that the cases that ORI sends it are inadequately prepared, but were that the case, ORI couldn’t negotiate the voluntary agreements that it does.I think where all of this is going is that ORI really needs to be an independent agency at HHS. If the ORI director had control of his budget and could hire adequate legal talent, if the director could contract with lawyers directly to generate a charge letter, you’d have one done in a couple months, not years.Q: Should ORI have more power to investigate on its own instead of relying on institutions’ investigations?D.W.: There was a time when ORI could conduct its own investigations. That was removed in some of the political to-and-fro-ing into the late 1990s and into the 2000s. I believe that things would work better if ORI had that authority restored. I don’t think it has the resources to conduct its own investigations very often, but I think it would be helpful to have it.The other thing is that the [education] division that’s supposed to promote the responsible conduct of research is vastly understaffed right now. They have finally hired a new director. That office needs to be staffed up. It has only four people right now and should have eight or 10.Q: Should the current scientific misconduct definition of FFP (fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism) be expanded? D.W.: I don’t have a position on that. I brought it up at an April 2012 meeting before a large audience. The Canadians have a much broader definition. They made an argument for why they found it useful. But the American participants in that meeting demonstrated almost no enthusiasm for broadening the definition. It would mean many more cases.Many universities have a definition that’s broader than FFP. A few institutions have retained the “serious deviation” clause from the old regulation. But lots and lots of people, including me, didn’t like that because it was so broad and ill defined.Q: Is misconduct increasing? Does it explain the rise in retractions? D.W.: I don’t think anybody knows. One argument is, it’s not increasing in terms of absolute rate, it’s just easier to detect because of changes in technology and online publishing.The opposite argument is that as funding rates at NIH [the National Institutes of Health] and other agencies are at or close to all-time lows, and the pressure in the academy to produce to get tenure and that sort of thing increases, there is increasingly pressure to cheat and maybe more people are.Eventually there will be more research on why people commit misconduct, and there will be some good longitudinal studies at universities that have really good policies and training versus those that don’t to see what the comparative rate of misconduct allegations is. And we may be able to draw some more conclusions.Q: What were you able to get done at ORI?D.W.: In 2 years I did everything that I promised to do. We continued to develop the boot camps, which are programs of training for research integrity officers. We started a number of international initiatives; we began working with our Canadian counterparts and talking more to the Europeans.We had a meeting of leaders in both research misconduct and the protection of human participants in research to talk about how to handle allegations of misconduct in clinical settings and the disharmonies between the two sets of regulations. I wanted to do something about that.All of those things didn’t require any support or assistance from OASH except to release funds for meetings, which was like pulling hen’s teeth.Q: Will anybody want to be ORI director now? D.W.: I don’t know. As I said in my letter, and it was absolutely sincere, the 35% of my time that I got to do what I thought was the whole job when I came there was just wonderful. The rest of it was a nightmare.There are lots of talented people around and maybe there are people with a higher tolerance for bureaucratic inertia and frustration than I have. There was speculation after I left that they would just find somebody inside, a federal “grinder” as they say, who would do the job, who didn’t necessarily have any experience with the research community or with handling allegations so it would get off the front pages. That would be a disaster. Last month, David Wright, the director of the federal Office of Research Integrity (ORI), which keeps watch on fraud in federally funded biomedical research, quit in frustration after 2 years. His resignation letter was a scathing critique of what he called the “dysfunctional” bureaucracy at the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH). After it was obtained and published by ScienceInsider, it drew national attention to an office that often labors in obscurity. Wright, 68, has since returned to Michigan, where he is a professor emeritus at Michigan State University in East Lansing. He spoke with ScienceInsider earlier this week about his reasons for leaving. The interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.Q: Did something trigger your decision in February?D.W.: It was the accumulation of frustrations with the bureaucracy and trying to operate a regulatory office which requires precision, transparency, procedural rigor in an organization that values none of those things. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! 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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Rebecca C. Henry read more