Weekly Roundup – 9-29-06

J0182617 I had the week off and it went by quickly.  Once AlItalia screwed up my vacation, I stayed home and organized my house.  It wasn’t as much fun as Italy, but profoundly reassuring.  I had fun with Nick and Nora too.   Meanwhile, autumn has begun in earnest as leaves begin to litter my yard and the temperature dropped below 50 last night for the first time.

Here is the roundup for this week:

  • Good News/Bad News on Health Costs – The Kaiser Family Foundation released a survey this week of employer related health insurance costs.  The bad news is, they are rising at quite a clip – over twice the rate of inflation and wages.  The good news is, the upward trend has slowed down.  But it is a troubling signal for the future of all stakeholders. 
  • Coalition Formed to Increase FDA Funding – Calling themselves the Coalition for a Stronger FDA, a bipartisan collection of former Secretaries of HHS has launched an effort to lobby for greater FDA financial support from the government in an effort to address some of the issues raised in the troubling IOM report.  The coalition includes such groups as the Consumer Federation
  • New Colon Cancer Drug Approval – By way of accelerated approval, the agency announced approval of Vectibix (panitumumab), a monocolonal antibody manufactured by Amgen for the treatment of patients with colorectal cancer that has metastasized (spread to other parts of the body) following standard chemotherapy.
  • FDA Issues Cell-Based Viral Vaccine Guidance – With continuing concerns raised about the emergence of a new flu pandemic, the agency issued new guidance to aid manufacturers in developing safe and effective cell-based viral vaccines.
  • Consumer Representatives for Advisory Panel Nominations – Next week the agency will be open for nominations of consumer representatives to FDA advisory committees. This can be an important voice on committees given that it is usually someone whose life is not involved in research. 

Have a good weekend everyone.  Cheers!

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