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Experts: Sustained funding needed for Obama's cancer-cure pledge | Coalition to concentrate efforts on care coordination | Device makers supportive of comparative-effectiveness research
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February 26, 2009
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Experts: Sustained funding needed for Obama's cancer-cure pledge
President Barack Obama's pledge to find a cancer treatment "in our time" will require sustained financing from the government, experts say. Health care reforms that offer medical care and prevention technologies to more people would also help in the fight against cancer, said Daniel Smith, president of the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network.
Yahoo!/Reuters (2/25) 
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Science and Technology
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Science and Technology
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Coalition to concentrate efforts on care coordination
Ten medical associations and health care groups have formed an organization aiming to push for "accountable coordinated-care infrastructures" designed to offer incentives for improving quality and patient outcomes. The Physician Groups for Coordinated Care plans to collaborate with Congress and the Obama administration on IT solutions, new payment methodologies, and preventive- and chronic-care management to achieve its goals.
Modern Healthcare (free registration) (2/24) 
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Device makers supportive of comparative-effectiveness research
Top medical-device firm executives said they support comparative-effectiveness research, which will get $1.1 billion from the economic-stimulus package, provided it does not require patients to seek cost-based single treatments. The industry also is concerned that a focus solely on costs could create an "innovation blind spot," AdvaMed President and CEO Stephen Ubl said.
CNNMoney/Dow Jones Newswires (2/25) 
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Denmark to set up a national bio-bank
Denmark is planning to establish a national bio-bank that will store 15 million blood and tissue samples and serve as a resource for scientists and doctors working to develop better personalized treatments for diseases. A regulatory center also will be set up to oversee the ethical and legal uses of the samples.
The Copenhagen Post (Denmark) (2/24) 
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Finance and Economics
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Finance and Economics
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Report: Spending for health IT to increase by 2.6% this year
IT spending in the health care sector for 2009 is expected to grow by 2.6% to $28.4 billion, according to research company Gartner. The increase is lower than the 2008 growth rate, which reached 6.6%, because of the economic downturn, Gartner executive John Lovelock said. Financial incentives for computerized medical records under the economic-stimulus plan will help boost spending this year, he added.
Health Data Management (2/24) 
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Industry advocates await president's plans for FDA funding
Advocates hope President Barack Obama will propose increased funding for the FDA when he unveils his fiscal 2010 budget. The Alliance for a Stronger FDA, representing patients, industry and other organizations, is lobbying for a $386 million increase in the agency's budget to improve safety regulation of food, drugs and medical devices.
Reuters (2/25) 
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Obama's budget expected to seek $634B for health care reform
President Barack Obama is expected to announce that his first budget seeks $634 billion over a decade to serve as a down payment for health care reform. Obama has eight main goals for revamping the U.S. health care system, including letting patients keep the insurance or doctors of their choice, White House officials said.
Politico (2/26),  Google/The Associated Press (2/25) 
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Law and Regulation
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Law and Regulation
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Obama: Comprehensive health reforms will begin in 2009
President Barack Obama announced he plans to initiate extensive reforms to the U.S. health care system this year and introduce a program seeking a cancer cure "in our time." Obama also said his first annual budget will include provisions to broaden health coverage and measures to cut costs, including the increased adoption of electronic medical records.
CNN (2/24),  Reuters (2/24) 
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Details of health reform left out in Obama's address:
President Barack Obama stopped short of promising universal health care coverage or providing details on the timing or specifics of his health-reform plan Tuesday night, which will give him "some wiggle room," according to The Politico. However, he did indicate that he will tackle health reform soon and that he plans to convene a health summit next week. More details on Obama's plan are expected to be revealed in his budget on Thursday.
Politico (2/25) 
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Society and Ethics
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Society and Ethics
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Study: Firms lag in meeting demand for pandemic vaccines
A study found that drugmakers would need four years to meet the worldwide demand for vaccines if a flu pandemic occurs today. However, vaccine production is expected to double by 2014, owing to technological advances that allow for vaccines to be developed using laboratory cells rather than chicken eggs, according to the study. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization teamed up with Schering-Plough to provide developing countries with an improved vaccine-making technology for the H5N1 bird-flu strain.
Reuters (2/24),  Google/The Associated Press (2/24) 
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