HHS and USPHS

First Malaria Vaccine Could Be Available in Four Years

WASHINGTON — The world’s first malaria vaccine may finally be within reach. Scientists and public health officials are optimistic about recent news that a malaria vaccine candidate was able to reduce the risk of malaria by half in young African… Read More

FDA Is More Bark than Bite on Foreign Drug Imports, Seeks More Authority

WASHINGTON — FDA needs the authority to keep foreign manufacturers who do not comply with regulatory requests from importing their products into the United States, agency officials are telling legislators. Currently, the agency can stop products from entering the country… Read More

Drug Shortages Tripled in Last Five Years; Critical Medications Unavailable

WASHINGTON — The number of drug shortages reported annually has nearly tripled over the last five years, with much-needed drugs such as chemotherapy, anesthetics and electrolytes disproportionately affected. FDA sometimes can mitigate or even prevent a shortage, but this… Read More

Study Examines Association Between DHA Levels and Suicide Risk

WASHINGTON, DC — Diet impacts far more than waistlines and the risk of obesity. In fact, the military has been paying close attention to not only the role of nutrition in maintaining physical health, but also how it relates to… Read More

DoD, NIH Partner to Create TBI Research Database

BETHESDA, MD — Recent projects being overseen or funded at NIH hope to shed light on the biology of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and give physicians and future researchers better tools to understand, diagnose and treat the condition. TBI Database… Read More

FDA Views Future Role as More Than Just Regulator

WASHINGTON — Since taking office, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD, has pushed for science to play a stronger role in the agency, both in the rationale for its decision-making and in meeting its basic purpose.  FDA, she has said,… Read More

Just the Beginning: Genomics Research Now Used to Identify, Treat Diseases

BETHESDA, MD — A wave of genetic research projects sparked by last decade’s completion of the Human Genome Project are slowly making their way to fruition. Researchers, many of whom are based at NIH, are busy teasing apart the genetic… Read More

MHS Seeks to Honor Women Physicians

WASHINGTON — The Military Health System is accepting nominations for the third annual “Building Stronger Female Physician Leaders in the MHS” award program, which identifies and honors outstanding female physicians who have made significant contributions to the practice of military medicine… Read More

Not All Federal Physicians Eligible for Extra Pay Allowance Actually Get It

WASHINGTON — Of the nearly 19,482 full-time civilian physicians employed by the federal government, about 9% were eligible for Physicians Comparability Allowance (PCA) payments, but only 7% actually received it in FY 2010. That information was included in an… Read More

White House Report Puts Spotlight on Military, Veteran Drug Abuse

WASHINGTON — A recent report on federal government plans to curb drug abuse puts added emphasis on the active-duty military and the veteran population. It also focuses more attention on misuse of prescription drugs and, as far as recovery efforts… Read More

Senate Testimony: Domestic Assault, Abuse of Native American Women Epidemic

WASHINGTON — Nearly three out of five Native American women have been assaulted by their spouses or intimate partners in what now “has reached epidemic rates,” a federal official told a Senate committee last month. “It is not simply violence… Read More

While PTSD Research Has Accelerated, Much About the Disorder Remains a Mystery

SAN FRANCISCO — Research into PTSD has accelerated exponentially over the last decade. Where once it was understood as little more than a loose collection of symptoms, now researchers are beginning to define the pathology of the disease as well… Read More

GAO: Lack of Information on Inpatient Antibiotic Use Hampers Resistance Monitoring

WASHINGTON — Despite widespread warnings by federal health agencies about the dangers of antibiotic resistance, there are significant gaps in how HHS monitors those infections, according to the Government Accountability Office. A report released by GAO last month questions whether… Read More

PTSD Independent Risk Factor for Heart Disease, Doubles Veterans’ Risk of Dying from Any Cause

PTSD more than doubles a veteran’s risk of death from any cause and is an independent risk factor for heart disease, according to VA researchers.1 Researchers based out of the Greater Los Angeles VA studied the medical records of… Read More

With Wider Use of Electronic Records, the Era of ‘Big Epidemiology’ Is Upon Us

Jonathan Samet, MD BETHESDA, MD — As technology advances and the ability of researchers to collect and compute larger and larger amounts of data increases, the face of epidemiology is slowly but surely changing. This new kind of… Read More

Knowledge of Risk Factors Not Necessarily Valuable in Predicting Cardiovascular Disease

BETHESDA, MD—Five years ago, NIH started promoting a paradigm of medicine—one that was predictive, personalized, preemptive and always with the participation of the patient. That paradigm began with the ability to predict who was at risk for certain diseases, including… Read More

NIH Releases Strategic Plan for Obesity Research

WASHINGTON—Recent months have seen a reinvigorated commitment to research targeted at curbing the obesity epidemic in the United States, including a number of completed studies from VA and DoD and the release of a new strategic plan from NIH. Plan… Read More

IHS Works to Resolve Management Problem, Still Underfunded Compared to Other Federal Health Programs, Director Says

WASHINGTON—The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs released an investigative report last year that found that an increasingly high number of Equal Employment Opportunity complaints (EEO) had been filed in the Aberdeen Area, which is made up of IHS and tribally-managed… Read More

President Proposes Slightly Larger Budget for NIH; Focus on New Research

WASHINGTON—The President’s proposed budget for FY 2012 includes no deep cuts in HHS agencies, and even includes a small increase for NIH research. But that increase is tiny in comparison to the boost in research dollars that was provided through… Read More

Once Used to Keep Women from Top Ranks, Menopause Now Managed Within VA, Military Health Systems

When President Harry Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act into law in 1948, it was touted as opening full military service and veterans’ benefits to women, but many restrictions remained in place. Women were not allowed to fly… Read More