March 2011

FDA Commissioner Testifies on FY2012 Budget

On March 17 FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies regarding the FDA’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget request. Commissioner Hamburg detailed four initiatives included n the agency’s request: Protecting Patients; FDA’s Regulatory Science and Facilities Initiative; Transforming Food Safety and Nutrition; and Advancing Medical Countermeasures. Emphasis on these initiatives provided the context in which Commissioner Hamburg justified a request to increase resources for the agency.

In addition to her testimony, Commissioner Hamburg faced questions from members of the subcommittee related to the agency’s ability to advance new food safety regulations and the added burden the a budget cut would place on implementation, the Unites State’s preparedness for a nuclear disaster similar to Japan’s, activities on issues related to antibiotic resistance, and nanotechnology.  During her questioning she also expressed optimism for negations that are ongoing to reauthorize the Prescription Drug and Medical Device User Fee programs and underscored the important role these programs play in ensuring timely access to new treatments and technologies.

To view Commissioner Hamburg’s written testimony, click here.

ACT-AD Member Unveils New Care Crossroads Website

On March 30 the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) unveiled an innovative, interactive “community of care” Web site that will help family caregivers meet other caregivers, learn about the brain disorder and connect “live” with experts.

Called Care Crossroads, the site addresses a major issue raised by caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease: a feeling of isolation and stigma. It also fills a growing need for alternate types of support services, especially for caregivers whose round-the-clock responsibilities prevent them from interacting in person at organized programs.

Some of the site’s features include:

  • AFA’s social workers on stand by to respond to questions and concerns on caregivers’ own communication terms;
  • “I Care” video stories and creative contributions, to introduce caregivers to other caregivers; and
  • An active discussion board where caregivers can talk with like-minded peers on various issues—from diagnosis to end-of-life decision making.

To learn more about Care Crossroads, click here.

Upcoming Reception on Imaging and Advances in Patient Care

The Coalition for Imaging and Bioengineering Research (CIBR) and the Academy of Radiology Research Academic Council will host a Congressional reception on the evening of May 18.  The reception, which will be held in Washington,DC on Capitol Hill,   will provide an opportunity for patient advocates to meet and collaborate with top research scientists and academic center leaders in biomedical imaging.  Attendees will include National Institutes of Health directors and staff, imaging researchers, members of Congress, congressional staff, and industry representatives.

Presentations and poster sessions will provide information on biomedical imaging; stress the value of investment in imaging research; and highlight the impact that imaging research has on innovation related to many diseases and conditions including Alzheimer’s, cancer, obesity and stroke. ACT-AD members and other interested parties are welcome to attend.

To learn more about CIBR, click here.  Details on how to register for the congressional reception can be found here.