Suspended: Drug Trials, Public Health Initiatives
BOSTON, Oct. 3, 2013 (BOSTON HERALD)--Each week that the tug-of-war on Capitol Hill continues, the National Institutes of Health will turn away about 200 patients, including children with cancer, from its clinical research center, while local clinical trials remain on hold.
"The longer time goes on, the more deleterious the impact will be on the research community and patients," said Dr. Anne Klibanski, chief academic officer at Partners Healthcare.
Trials that have received funding but need drug approvals could be delayed because the Food and Drug Administration effectively has been shut down.
"I feel terrible. I wanted to get this going," said Leo Finn, 48, a Buzzards Bay father of three who found out Tuesday that the clinical test of the drug his doctor had hoped might cure his liver cancer was on hold. "I want to see my kids graduate, and I want to walk my daughter down the aisle."
The shutdown impact could prevent the Centers for Disease Control from monitoring the spread of the flu this year, "something that all hospitals look to as an early warning sign," said John Erwin of the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals.
The Boston Public Health Commission could lose grants for homelessness, violence-prevention and HIV/AIDS programs "Our public health commission spends about $41,000 a day in federal grants," Mayor Thomas M. Menino said. "If they cease coming, we won't be able to serve the people we have in the city of Boston who need health care the most."
Jordan Graham and the Cape Cod Times contributed to this report.
Posted: October 2013