Government shutdown forces clinical trial patients to wait

“Government shutdown forces clinical trial patients to wait.” By Val Willingham, CNN.

Every week, about 200 new patients come to the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Patients are now being told they will have to wait until the government starts up again to begin their trials, according to NIH spokesman John Burklow. “In fact, six new studies would have started this week that we are deferring,” Burklow said. Approximately 30 of the 200 new patients are children, he said, and about 10 of those children are cancer patients.

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RelatedDepartment of Health and Human Services Fiscal Year 2014 Contingency Staffing Plan for Operations in the Absence of Enacted Annual Appropriations (PDF)

HHS’ contingency plans for agency operations in the absence of appropriations would lead to furloughing 40,512 staff and retaining 37,686 staff as of day two of a near-term funding hiatus. Put another way, 52% of HHS employees would be on furlough, and 48% would be retained. These percentages vary among HHS’ agencies and offices, with grant-making and employee-intensive agencies (e.g., the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), the Administration for Community Living (ACL), and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)) having the vast majority of their staff on furlough, and agencies with a substantial direct service component (e.g., the Indian Health Service (IHS)) having most of their staff retained.


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