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Monthly Archives: March 2015

Rutgers Names Dean for School of Health Related Professions

New Brunswick, NJ, March 23, 2015 ― Gwendolyn Mahon, Ph.D., has been chosen as dean of the Rutgers School of Health Related Professions, effective March 11, 2015.  Since 2011, she has served as the school’s associate dean for administration, while also fulfilling other roles within Rutgers.

Mahon, who is a principal or co-principal investigator on several federal grants, brings a strong background in research and academic administration. Continue reading

Benefunder Partners with Rutgers to Advance Innovation via High-Impact Philanthropy

New Brunswick, NJ, March 20, 2015 ― Benefunder, an organization that works with wealth management firms to connect donors with top researchers across the nation, has announced a partnership with Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, to help advance scientific breakthroughs and discoveries into the market.

Through the new collaboration, researchers universitywide will have access to Benefunder’s unique funding platform, including faculty from Rutgers’ Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, which is ranked #1 nationally for research funding.

While Rutgers’ nearly $746 million in annual research and development expenditures places it among the nation’s top 30 universities, the institution faces a decline in overall federal funding for research, while its home state of New Jersey has also decreased its support for research. Continue reading

Justice and HHS Departments Combat Health Care Fraud; Secure $27.8B in Returns

Washington, DC, March 19, 2015 ― More than $27.8 billion has been returned to the Medicare Trust Fund over the life of the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control (HCFAC) Program, Attorney General Eric Holder and HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced today.

The government’s health care fraud prevention and enforcement efforts recovered $3.3 billion in taxpayer dollars in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 from individuals and companies that attempted to defraud federal health programs, including programs serving seniors, persons with disabilities or those with low incomes. Continue reading

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: At 5th Anniversary, More Americans Supporting Obamacare; March Poll Tracks Views

Menlo Park, CA, March 19, 2015 ― Five years after President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, this month’s Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds the closest split between favorable and unfavorable views of the law since Fall 2012 and a significant uptick in favorable views from the low in November 2013 during the law’s troubled rollout.

Specifically, the new poll finds 43 percent of the public view the law unfavorably and 41 percent view it favorably. Continue reading

New Jersey Rare Disease Alliance Forms, Hosts Rare Diseases Day

Trenton, NJ, March 18, 2015 ― Andrew Kitchenman today reports in NJ Spotlight that, a new coalition of different rare-disease groups is hoping to find strength in numbers — and has reason to be optimistic.  The New Jersey Rare Disease Alliance brought patient advocates and industry experts together on Monday in Trenton to mark Rare Disease Day.

With an estimated 10 percent of Americans having rare diseases, their combined lobbying might get the attention of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies with the potential to develop treatments. Continue reading

HHS Data Shows Largest Drop in Uninsured US Population in Four Decades

Washington, DC, March 17, 2015 ― Robert Pear reports in The New York Times that the Obama administration on Monday reported that 16.4 million uninsured people had gained health coverage since major provisions of the Affordable Care Act began to take effect in 2010, driving the largest reduction in the number of uninsured in about 40 years.

Since the first open enrollment period began in October 2013, the officials said, the proportion of adults lacking insurance has dropped to 13.2 percent, from 20.3 percent. Continue reading

Coriell Institute for Medical Research Receives $14 Million NIH Grant

Camden, NJ, March 17, 2015 Coriell Institute for Medical Research, home to the world’s most diverse biobank and a leading center for cutting-edge scientific exploration, has won a $14 million grant through an open competition from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, a component of the National Institutes of Health.

The five-year award supports the NIGMS Human Genetic Cell Repository at Coriell, a dynamic collection of more than 11,300 cell lines and 5,700 DNA samples representing a variety of disease states, chromosomal abnormalities and healthy individuals across several distinct human populations. Continue reading

Battelle Report: Clinical Trials and the Impact on State Economies

Washington, DC, March 17, 2015 ― Writing on The Catalyst, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America’s (PhRMA) blog, John Corea writes that beyond the profound value that biopharmaceutical industry research and development (R&D) brings patients — new treatments and potential cures for society’s most devastating and costly diseases — are the significant economic benefits resulting from the conduct of clinical trials in communities across the country.

Clinical trials are the most time and resource intensive part of the R&D process for a new medicine, and biopharmaceutical companies support and conduct the lion’s share of this work.

A new report from Battelle, supported by PhRMA, provides estimates of industry-sponsored clinical trial activity in each of the 50 states. Continue reading

The Record: ‘Special Enrollment Period’ Opens for Obamacare

Washington, DC, March 16, 2015 ― Lindy Washburn reports in The Record that last chance to enroll in 2015 health coverage through the Affordable Care Act started yesterday for people who didn’t have insurance last year and discover — when they file their income taxes — that they have to pay a tax penalty this year.

The penalties, which amount to $95 per person or 1 percent of household income, whichever is greater, are expected to be paid by less than half of the country’s remaining uninsured people. Continue reading

NJ Rare Disease Alliance Event Set for March 16 in Trenton

Ramsey, NJ, March 13, 2015 ― The New Jersey Rare Disease Alliance, a newly formed organization dedicated to improving the lives of the 800,000 rare disease patients in the state Jersey, is hosting its first event on Monday, March 16 at the Wyndham Garden Hotel, 1 W. Lafayette Street, Trenton, NJ.

Supported by BioNJ and NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders), the event coincides with the Rare Disease Day and Month events planned all over the world.

An hour-long program at 12:00 noon will focus on the “Rare Disease Paradox: Patients are Common, Treatments are Not” and will be moderated by rare disease patient advocate Bill Cummings. Continue reading