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What We're Reading: Ryan's Legacy on Healthcare; FDA Investigates University; NIH Probes Alcohol Research

AJMC Staff
House Speaker Paul Ryan is leaving Congress at the end of the year without success on spending cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security; the FDA is conducting a criminal investigation into research by a Southern Illinois University professor who injected people with his unauthorized herpes vaccine; the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is "aggressively" looking into reports that it solicited funding from the alcohol industry for a study on the benefits of moderate drinking.

Ryan Leaving Congress Without Success on Spending Cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security

With House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, leaving Congress at the end of the year, the Republican party will lose its most influential champion for spending curbs to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, The Wall Street Journal notes. Ryan saw his party fail to repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act even though Republicans gained control of the House, Senate, and White House for the first time in a decade in 2016. Social Security and healthcare programs are popular with voters and few lawmakers are interested in tackling the issue. 

 

FDA Conducting Criminal Probe into University, Firm Over Unauthorized Vaccines

The FDA is conducting a criminal investigation into research by a Southern Illinois University (SIU) professor who injected people with his unauthorized herpes vaccine, Kaiser Health News has learned. SIU professor William Halford injected participants with his experimental herpes vaccine without routine safety oversight, typically performed by the FDA or an institutional review board. Halford died in June. The probe is looking into whether anyone from SIU or Halford’s former company, Rational Vaccines, violated FDA regulations.

 

NIH Investigating Alcohol Research Funding Requests

The NIH is "aggressively" looking into reports that it solicited funding from the alcohol industry for a study on the benefits of moderate drinking, The Hill reported.

The New York Times has reported that NIH officials solicited donations from alcoholic beverage manufacturers to fund a $100 million study on the health effects of moderate alcohol consumption. NIH Director Francis Collins told lawmakers on Capitol Hill he has convened a “working group” and will turn anything that seems “inappropriate” over to authorities.

 
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