Healthcare policy news headlines: Drug pricing, e-cigarette marketing authorization, FDA, Dr. Robert Califf%%title%% %%sitename%% Goodfuse ,
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Old World eerie in a New World city

Hot Topics | October 15, 2021

Did the pandemic dash your dreams of embarking on a religious pilgrimage to Europe or the Middle East? Not to worry, because you can experience the best of Ancient Rome and the Holy Land in the heart of Washington, D.C courtesy of Franciscan monks.

In the late 19th century, the Franciscan Monastery of the Hold Land in America sought to recreate a number of holy sites and relics for Americans who could not afford to see the originals overseas. This included a number of alters, chapels and grottos, but apropos for the month of October are their catacombs. Meant to evoke the early Christian catacombs of Ancient Rome, the Catacombs of Washington, D.C. are a replica of the burial tunnels that lie under the streets of the Italian capital. The catacombs come complete with an official Papal endorsement as well as the bones of Saint Innocent, a child martyr. If you’re looking to get your spook on this October, tours of the catacombs are available.

Before you rebook your European vacation to Washington, D.C., catch up with the healthcare stories that were making headlines this week:

Drug pricing’s Groundhog Day

  • The intraparty stalemate between proponents of drug pricing reform and moderates entered another week. Democratic party leaders are now exploring changes that could potentially break the impasse, but reports indicate there is no guarantee that key moderates could be swayed by proposed changes. (The Hill, The Washington Postfull text below)

FDA first: e-cigarette receives marketing authorization

  • In a first for the agency, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted marketing authorization to some electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), more commonly known as e-cigarettes. In granting the marketing authorization, the FDA said “the potential benefit to smokers who switch completely or significantly reduce their cigarette use, would outweigh the risk to youth” provided the ENDS manufacturer, R.J. Reynolds, complies with the terms of the post-marketing requirements. (FDA Alert, Endpoints News, Associated Press – Washington Bureau)

Update on Commissioner search 2021

  • Sources close to the White House told media this week that President Biden is likely to nominate Dr. Robert Califf to serve as FDA Commissioner. If nominated and confirmed, Califf would return to the position he held for about one year during the second Obama administration. Over the past ten months, Dr. Janet Woodcock has served as Interim FDA Commissioner. (POLITICO, Endpoints News, The Washington Postfull text below)

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