Weekly Roundup – 9-16-11

Someone has flipped a switch and turned summer off and autumn on as we dove down in temperature to the 40s last night.  It is a most welcome change sending us all in search of our corduroys as we weed the linens out of the closet.  Such a busy time of year.

Regardless of the season, our world marches on and here were a few highlights from the week I thought worth noting:

  • FDA Reorganizes Oncology – The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) announced this week that it was reorganizing and renaming the Office of Oncology Drug Products.  The old office contained three divisions while the new one has four within its ranks and it will now be called the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products (OHOP).  The reason there are now four is that the Division of Oncology Drug Products (DODP) is now being transitioned into two Divisions of Oncology Products – DOP 1 and DOP 2. Jurisdiction over products is divided up by types of cancer and both will consider products whether they are drug based or biologics.  DOP 1 will have jurisdiction over breast, gynecologic, genitourinary and supportive care (non-hematologic).  DOP 2 will oversee gastrointestingal, lung, head/neck, neuro-oncology, rare cancers, pediatric solid tumor, and melanoma/sarcoma.  You can read about other changes in the release on the change..
  • FDA Cialis Online Announces New Foodborne Illness Response Network – The agency announced CORE Network – Coordinated Outbreak Response Evaluation which it says will allow for more consistency in monitoring and investigating outbreaks.  The Network is comprised of a multi-disciplinary team of epidemiologists, veterinarians, microbiologists, environmental health specialists, emergency coordinators, and risk communications specialists. Unfortunately, the release does not make clear how this changes the status quo, making it a bit difficult to assess.  On another food front – the GAO issued this week a report “Challenges for the Food and Agriculture Sector in Responding to Potential Terror Attacks and Natural Disasters“.
  • Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus Established - This apparently happened week before last, but only caught my eye when I saw it in a tweet from Representative Trent Franks.  According to a report in The Huffington Post, the caucus is being co-chaired by Franks, Rep. Barbara Lee and Rep. Jim McDermott. It only took 30 years, but it is interesting to see members of this Congress do anything bipartisan.  According to POZ, the caucus now has 50 members and it is worth noting that this development takes place as Washington, D.C. gets ready to host the next International AIDS Conference.

That’s it for me this week folks.  Have a good weekend!

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