Federal Government Shutdown Looms as Congress Works to Finalize FY 2012 AppropriationsA fiscal year (FY) 2012 spending package, which includes $30.7 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), remains in a holding pattern, with congressional leaders using the bill as leverage in a battle of how to pay for a payroll tax cut extension. The current stopgap bill expires at midnight Friday, December 16, forcing a federal shutdown without action on the omnibus or another continuing resolution. Read more.
Until Congress passes a final FY 2012 spending bill, funding for the NIH remains in jeopardy. All Members of Congress need to hear from their constituents about the need to adequately fund NIH. To contact your Representative and Senators, please use the e-mail template offered online at the ASH Advocacy Center where you can quickly and easily send a message.
House Passes Bill Containing Two Year SGR Fix, Senate Fate Uncertain; Act Now to Stop the 27.4 Percent Medicare Physician Payment Cut Scheduled for 2012Earlier this week, the House of Representatives passed legislation that included a proposal to provide two years of Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) relief with one percent increases in each year. Although the measure passed the House, the Senate leaders have indicated that the House proposal does not have the support to prevail in the Senate. The Senate will likely unveil a separate proposal to address the SGR. Read more.
Unless Congress acts, physicians face a 27.4 percent cut in Medicare payments beginning January 1, 2012. Now is the time to contact lawmakers and urge them to address and correct the physician payment formula. Please visit the ASH Advocacy Center to join ASH's campaign to contact your Senators and Representative and urge them to stop the Medicare physician payment cut scheduled for 2012.
ASH Calls on Congress to Take Immediate Action to Prevent Drug Shortages; Obama Administration Issues Interim Final RuleAs part of ASH's continuous advocacy efforts to combat drug shortages ASH urged the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee to expand authority of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and provide economic incentives to manufacturers of low cost generic drugs to prevent drug shortages. In testimony submitted for a December 15 hearing, "Prescription Drug Shortages: Examining A Public Health Concern And Potential Solutions" ASH also described how shortages of first-line treatments for blood disorders are forcing doctors to choose less-effective and sometimes more-toxic therapies for their patients. Meanwhile, on December 15 the Obama Administration issued an interim final rule that will help prevent prescription drug shortages. The rule will require manufacturers that are the only producer of certain critical drugs to report to the FDA all interruptions in manufacturing of products and builds on specific recommendations made by ASH. Read More.
Find the Latest on NIH Grants Policies and Activities in the NIH Extramural NexusThe NIH Extramural Nexus provides regular updates on NIH grants policies and activities that impact the entire research community. Recent posts include updates on the expansion of Transparency Act reporting, what to do if an application deadline falls on a weekend, and information on the NIH Director's Early Independence Award Program. Read more.
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