Effects of Government Shutdown for Cancer Patients

Being an oncologist I have been meaning to write about this for some time.  It is difficult enough to have an cancer diagnosis. It is also a challenge for the patient (and the doctor) to navigate the multitude of new treatments being offered and specially those that are still investigational.  For the patient that means they need to participate in a “protocol” often run through Governement programs.  The NIH (National Institutes of Health) is the most important institution in this area.  So how did last years gov shutdown affect patients and patient care?  IT REALLY DID.  Read more on this here, and in particular read the end of the article subtitled “one patient’s experience” about a 30 year old woman with fibrosarcoma trying to get on to a NIH clinical trial of cabozantinib.  Fortunately for this patient (and many others) the shutdown was eventually lifted.   Lesson: a prolonged shutdown would most certainly cost lives.  Disease is not partisan!  It affects all of us.

About D. Posnett MD

Emeritus Prof. of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College
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2 Responses to Effects of Government Shutdown for Cancer Patients

  1. Mike Anthony says:

    One of the problems of indiscriminate antipathy directed toward something called “Big Government” is that very useful agencies get labeled the same as everything else labeled “government.” Military contracting probably wastes more money in a week than the NIH could dream of wasting in a decade.

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