Weekly Roundup – 2/6/09

It has been a frigid week here in Washington, causing everything to move slowly – like stimulus legislation.  Some new legislation regarding FDA and the pharma industry has been introduced and is now in the right hand column of the blog.  Nothing earth-shattering, importation and the like – mostly stuff recycled from the 110th Congress.

Here is a little bit of interesting stuff from this week:

  • IOM Releases Report – Beyond the HIPAA Privacy Rule:  Enhancing Privacy, Improving Health Through Research – As the stimulus package winds its way through a reluctant Congress and unemployment rises to 7.8%, IOM releases a report about HIPAA and the privacy quagmire that may possibly inhibit the ambitions of Health IT contained in the bill. 
  • FDA Advisory Committee Gives Thumb's Up to Lilly's Prasugrel  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee voted 9 to 0 that prasugrel, an investigational antiplatelet agent, should be approved for the treatment of patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) managed with an artery-opening procedure known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
  • Daschle Nomination for HHS Dissolves in Face of Tax Issues – A nomination that was key to the success of health care reform, and perhaps appointments to head CMS and FDA was withdrawn by Tom Daschle this week, throwing everything into question at this point. The position of  FDA Commissioner is rumored to have been vetted and now it becomes a question of whether or not the appointment is made in spite of the fact that there is no one at the helm of HHS.  Bad stuff.  
  • And Speaking of HHS – Agency Goes Digital Over Peanuts! –  HHS has used the Peanut recall (which seems endless and has clogged my email in box with product recall after product recall) to go all out on the digital front, with FDA and CDC both Twittering, creating a blog and even peanut recall widgets!  This is the good work of Andrew Wilson at HHS.  Keep it up Andrew! 

That's it for me this week.  Next week I'll be coming to you from Woodstock, Vermont while on a much needed break!  Have a good weekend everyone.   

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