The recent government shutdown hasn’t been good for anybody, but there are a few people that it’s affecting much more seriously than others. As if cancer patients didn’t have it bad enough already, the government shutdown has restricted their access to some of the clinical trials providing them with treatment.
Ironically, now that the government can’t agree upon the details surrounding President Obama’s healthcare reform bill, some of the people who need healthcare the most are being left out in the cold. The National Institutes of Health has furloughed nearly 15 thousand employees, and cancer patients are suffering as a result.
Government Shutdown Hurts Cancer Patients
Approval for the United States House and Senate is at an all-time low, as the two groups can’t seem to agree upon anything. As a result, the government has effectively shut down.
This is affecting a bunch of government-run and -funded institutions, and the National Institutes of Health are among the programs that are being negatively affected by the shutdown.
The National Institutes of Health won’t be able to run any cancer clinical trials until the shutdown is lifted. For many suffering cancer patients, this means that they’re forced to simply go without their potentially life-saving treatment until the government can figure out how to get along.
One particular woman has already gone through nine months of chemotherapy, two cycles of radiation therapy, spinal fusion, and a number of surgeries. Her cancer continues to be a problem, but the clinical trials that gave her new promise were discontinued early last week when the government shut down.
Cancer Patients’ Drug Trials Being Put on Hold
New drugs that are tested out by clinical trials are often a source of hope for those that are suffering from a disease like terminal cancer. Unfortunately, the cancer patients whose hope was coming in the form of NIH clinical trials will now have to start hoping that the government can reopen sometime soon. And the problem won’t get better before this happens.
In fact, CNN points out that
“Every week, hundreds of patients…are admitted to new clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health. But as of Tuesday, these patients are being put on hold until the government resumes operation.”
Clearly, the problem is pretty serious. The National Institutes of Health has had to furlough about three quarters of its workforce, and isn’t accepting new grant applications while the government continues to be shut down.
Share What You Know
If you know anything that might help those waiting for the government shutdown to be over, let us know in the comments section.
As always, information about this type of government activity can be confusing. If you think you can clear anything up or bring something new to the table, by all means, join the conversation in the comments section below!
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