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April 2009 Archives

NURSING HOME INDUSTRY MAKES SECRET SURVEY AND ENFORCEMENT PROPOSALS TO CONGRESS

Deregulating public oversight of nursing facilities and relying on voluntary quality improvement programs have been a priority for the nursing home industry for many years. Surprise, surprise, this year is no different. In a secret Issue Brief[1] being circulated on Capitol Hill, but not included with other Issue Briefs on its website, the American Health Care Association (AHCA), the trade association of for-profit nursing facilities, is asking Congress to repeal the current statutory requirement for annual surveys of nursing facilities and to go back to less-than-annual surveys, undermining years of work toward greater facility accountability. Which is exactly what we need, giving people who take care of our loved ones less accountability for their actions or inactions in the care of their patients, please note the sarcasm!

AstraZeneca Conceals Studies Performed on Their Drug Seroquel

More evidence of misbehavior and concealment by pharmaceutical companies has surfaced. Seroquel, a drug which was designed to help persons with psychological problems, has been identified as causing serious physical harm to many people. Recently an internal E-mail was unsealed as part of the litigation over the Seroquel drug. This E-mail revealed that AstraZeneca failed to publicize results of at least three clinical trials of Seroquel with less favorable results, but on the contrary "cherry picked" data from one of the studies which was more favorable. At present AstraZeneca faces approximately 9,000 lawsuits because it failed to properly warn users that Seroquel can cause diabetes and other health problems.

Alert - Tell the Governor to Accept Stimulus Funding

The South Carolina Senate has apparently concluded that even if it can accept $700 million in stimulus bill funds under the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund , those funds will be tied up in litigation so long that they will do no good for critical needs now. Unless Governor Sanford accepts the stimulus funds this week, the Senate Finance Committee today talked about cutting $103 million from health and human services agencies (not counting multiples of that in federal match dollars), $162 million in public school spending, $44 million in higher education funding and $39 million in law enforcement and public safety agency budgets.Please call the Governor Sanford's Office and let him know that he should accept the federal stimulus funds to preserve health care and supportive services for the poor and those with disabilities, keep teachers in the classrooms and maintain public safety. Call him at 803-734-2100
-- South Carolina Fair Share 2001 Assembly Street - Suite 107 P.O. Box 8888 Columbia, SC 29202 803-252-9813

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