By Chris Pirschel, Staff Writer, and Alec Stone, ONS Public Affairs Director

NIH Wants 1 Million Americans to Contribute to New Pool of Gene Data

With hopes for more than 1 million participants, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched the All of Us initiative, a radical precision medicine campaign to amass a collective gene pool data repository. The NIH is aiming to shrink our differences and expand on the similarities found in our genetic data. For some, compiling genetic data of an entire country’s citizens may sound very reminiscent of Big Brother from the book 1984. But the amount of information that could be shared and learned from such a massive health database is remarkable.

NIH is the leading source for cutting-edge science and research, and All of Us has the potential for meaningful advances to cancer research. For this campaign to take hold, the public will have to understand what genetic data means. Oncology nurses throughout the country are central to closing that knowledge gap for their patients, and they could prove to be fundamental educators for NIH’s efforts.

FDA Takes Action Against Misleading Companies Marketing to Kids

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued 13 warning letters to tobacco manufacturers, distributors, and retailers for selling e-liquid used in e-cigarettes that contained labeling and marketing deemed to resemble kid-friendly products. Some of the companies were also cited for selling their products illegally to minors. Companies that manufacture and market to minors will see their products stripped of legitimacy and cited for further market infractions.

The new FDA commissioner is continuing to prove a leading activist against tobacco use, especially when it’s targeted to minors. His aggressive style and forthright concerns about public health resonate to the White House, allowing the FDA to continue acting as a leading advocate for tobacco cessation. ONS is an active coalition partner with groups like the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, supporting smoking cessation and tobacco control.

Conservative Groups Hope to Release New Obamacare Replacement This Month

A year has passed since Congress repealed some small components of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and almost a decade since the rallying cry for replacement started. To date, lawmakers still haven’t introduced a viable replacement to supplant the ACA. Despite that, conservative advocacy groups are planning to release a new replacement proposal later in May 2018.

The biggest oddity to this is the timeline. Considering 2018 is an election year with a truncated session, few Republicans are interested in reminding people that their party already tried and failed a full repeal and replacement of the ACA. To even be considered, the new plan would have to present past ideas in a radically new light—which is hard to imagine. Access to quality, affordable care is a central tenet to the Society’s advocacy efforts, and it will continue to work with lawmakers to ensure patients have access to the care they need.

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