CT Center for Patient Safety Newsletter
Quality Healthcare is a Right July 1, 2009 
In This Issue
Time line for health care reform
Congress takes on MRSA
FDA on painkillers

  • Proposed time line for Health care reform

July 4th Recess -Congress returns to their district

July 6th to August 9th - Committees will finish mark-ups.  During this time they amend legislation.  The Committees in the HOuse and Senate will compromise on the final version and these bills will be sent to the floor and voted on in the Senate and in the House.

August recess ends September 7 - Leaders un the House and the senate come together and work out compromise legislation.  

Late September and October - Hopefully a compromise bill will be sent to the Senate and the House for final votes

These time lines may slip - I will try to keep you up to date. Our congressional delegation, except for Senator Lieberman strongly supports significant reform  Contact them to thank them, or in Senator Lieberman's case, remind him that the purpose of health care is the patient, not a special interest. 


your support makes a difference
thank you 
Join Our Mailing List
Dear members.
I thought that by this time I would be providing you with a summary of passed and signed legislation.   Some bills have not been signed nor even forwarded to theGovernor's office.  The focus has been on trying to pass a two year budget yet although this is the first day of our new fiscal year, that budget has not been hammered out and we are now operating under Executive Order.
Over the summer I want to begin to focus on nursing homes in our states, the rights of patients and resources for individuals who are frustrated with their care.  This new focus is thanks to you who have called, deeply disturbed by what you saw happening to a loved one.  If you have a nursing home story, do not hesitate to call.  Clearly, it is your advocacy and frustration that will lead to meaningful reform.
As always, call with comments and questions and welcome
203 247 5757

Last week,  I attended a press conference in Washington, DC. Jackie Speier, Congresswoman from California, recently introduced a bill (H.R. 2937) to prevent health care facility-acquired infections.  I stood behind Jackie as she spoke. Additionally, moving words were heard from other survivors, and family members who have lost love ones to MRSA.    The bill will require hospitals to screen patients for MRSA, engage in best practices to prevent the spread of MRSA, and report infection rates which would be available to the public. 
 Congresswoman Speier is looking for more Co-sponsors for this bill.  
Had this bill been law in 2005, there is a good chance I would not have acquired MRSA at Brigham and Women's.
   Please join me in thanking Jackie Speier for this bill, and more importantly, encouraging your Congressional Representative to become a co-sponsor.
   Thank you so much.
 Carrie Simon
FDA panel backs ban on painkillers
By Tracy Staton
Here's a ban that could be a real pain for drugmakers: An FDA advisory panel voted in favor of pulling the narcotic combo drugs Percocet and Vicodin, seven other acetaminophen/narcotic combos, and all their generic equivalents. It's not the narcotic portion of the drugs the experts are worried about, though. It's the acetaminophen, a.k.a. Tylenol, which can be toxic to the liver.
The panel also voted that recommended doses for regular old Tylenol be reduced, and that the extra-strength versions be sold by prescription only.
Say what? Isn't Tylenol billed as one of the safest drugs in the world? Yes, but acetaminophen is also a leading cause of liver injury and has been for more than 10 years, FDA says. And now that there's a new drugs sheriff in town, those risks are getting another look. "The reality is we've known for some time that Tylenol plus alcohol is potentially damaging to livers, and we've also known that way too much is damaging to livers," pharma analyst Les Funtleyder of Miller Tabak & Co. told Bloomberg. "It's not a huge surprise."
Still, banning those drugs would be a huge change. Vicodin, sold by Abbott Laboratories, and its copycats are the most popular drugs in the U.S., accounting for more than 100 million scrips last year, the New York Times reports. Many patients still think of acetaminophen as a super-safe med. And doctors are accustomed to handing out scrips for one of these combo narcotics post-surgery, post-trauma, and so on. Not to mention the average, everyday use of acetaminophen-containing meds for headaches, fevers, colds and the like. "Whatever we do on any of these options, it will really affect the whole health-care system," Gerald Dal Pan, director of the FDA's office of drug surveillance, told the Wall Street Journal. Indeed.
But pain-management experts point out that the narcotic portions of the painkillers and the acetaminophen can be prescribed separately. Let's see what the agency decidesArticle Headline