By Chris Pirschel, Staff Writer, and Alec Stone, ONS Public Affairs Director
Bipartisan Prescription Drug Debates Rage in Washington
Congress has settled in after the shutdown, and new members have taken their place on committees to begin the real work in Washington, DC. This week, the House and Senate convened similar panels to discuss the . Patients and families provided about lost loved ones because of pricey prescription medications that were out of reach.
To the dismay of both chambers, no pharmaceutical company representatives testified. Although neither group came to a consensus in the initial hearings, House and Senate members threatened to subpoena the industry if no one comes forward voluntarily to testify on drug pricing. This will be a fight between the , but who will ultimately win is unclear at this time.
Surgeon General, FDA Focus on Youth Vaping Epidemic
Once viewed as a reasonable alternative to traditional cigarettes—and a potential means to quit—, reversing a decade’s old trend of declining rates in youth tobacco use. Trends have changed so drastically that the U.S. surgeon general, following , declared youth smoking a .
Last week, ONS testified before the Virginia state senate on the issue, offering a critical nursing perspective. In the meeting, one state senator even casually inhaled from a device in front of his colleagues without them noticing to demonstrate the ease of how teens can vape in classrooms undetected. To both the surgeon general and FDA’s credit, is the first step to reversing this deadly trend.
Socioeconomic Disparities Impact Cancer Outcomes
A by ONS advocate Janice Phillips, RN, PhD, FAAN, draws attention to the fact that, despite a decline in overall cancer mortality in the United States, continued gaps for people of color or lower socioeconomic status are affecting cancer outcomes. Nurses are advocates by personality as well as by profession, and Phillips demonstrated how nurses promote better health care—not only through clinical practice, evidence-based research, and nursing education—but by .
It’s done every day by millions of nurses who stand up and speak out when they see an opportunity to change things for the better. Healthcare disparities continue to be an issue, but by demonstrating the problem, a solution becomes more possible. When nurses speak, policymakers listen. Learn more about the importance of nursing advocacy—and earn free CNE while you’re at it—on the .