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Members of National Academies Demand Answers About Sackler’s Donations



On Thursday, more than 75 members of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine demanded that the organization explain why for years it has been unable to return or redirect millions of dollars donated by the Sackler family, including those who led Purdue Pharma.

OxyContin’s drug helped spark a prescription opioid crisis that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. The New York Times reported this month that despite the academies advising the government on opioid policy, the organization received $19 million from the Sackler family and appointed powerful members to its committees who had financial ties to Purdue Pharma.

One report published by the academies claimed that 100 million, or 40 percent of Americans, suffer from chronic pain. This figure, which later turned out to be inflated, was cited by drug manufacturers to convince doctors to write a large number of prescriptions for opioids.

In a letter delivered to Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists and economists called on the organization to clarify how members of the exploratory committee who ran nonprofits heavily funded by Purdue were chosen to lead the federal government on opioid policy: failure in the past? the letter asked.

“The academy looked like it had been mentally dormant for the last 30 years,” Robert Putnam, the letter’s author and Harvard public policy professor, said in an interview.

“Of course, we take the concerns of members of the National Academy of Sciences seriously, and their concerns have partly sparked very serious talk here about the return or repurposing of funds, to which the NAS remains committed,” the organization said in a statement on Friday. .

The National Academies were established in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln to advise the nation on scientific and medical matters. The institution annually elects new members—elite scientists and physicians—and provides influential advice to the White House, Congress, and federal agencies.

While about 70 percent of the national academy’s budget comes from federal funds, it also receives private donations from individuals, nonprofits, and companies including Chevron, Google, Merck, and Medtronic.

“If they start to see a problem – that is, this huge influx of private money, and private money is often associated with implicit connections – they will see that this is a threat to the basic principles of the academies,” the doctor said. Putnam spoke about the current leadership of the National Academies.

Among the signatories of the letter are eight Nobel Prize winners. The two authors are members of the National Academy of Sciences, who in 2017 called on top officials to distance the organization from the Sacklers.

Robert M. Houser, a noted sociologist, wrote in an October 2017 email to two senior Academy officials: “I have been thinking about NAS’s willingness to accept the support of the Sackler family and host events and awards—lectures, forums. , colloquia, prizes – no matter how worthy they may be.

He and another member of the Academy concluded that “NAS should distance itself from the Sacklers.” Another member was Angus Deaton, a Nobel laureate and co-author of a book on the soaring drug-related deaths and suicide among the white working class.

Dr. Deaton said in an interview that he and Dr. Houser asked to call high-ranking officials about the Sacklers’ involvement.

“More than anything, we wanted to warn them that there was a lot of trouble ahead along the way, that tens of thousands of people were dying, and the Sacklers were giving them money,” the doctor said. Deaton recalled in an interview.

Dr Hauser, who worked at the National Academies from 2010 to 2016, referred to a detailed New Yorker article about the “ruthless” marketing of OxyContin by the Sackler family in an email sent to Bruce Darling, then CEO, and James Hinchman, then COO.

“Sooner or later I thought it was going to explode in their face,” the doctor said. Houser said in an interview. “And that would really tarnish the reputation of the academies, which I vigorously defended.”

Four minutes after Dr. Houser’s initial inquiry was emailed, he received a response from Mr. Darling: “Last summer we had a conversation in the NAS Council on the same issue that you raised, and we made a decision that I would be happy to discuss with you . ”

Mr. Darling and Mr. Hinchman did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Dr. Hauser recalled that Mr. Darling had summarized the Sackler donations as something that had been discussed and required no new action. Dr. Deaton and Dr. Houser felt their concerns were dismissed.

Two National Academy reports on opioids have been criticized by experts. One, published in 2011, featured two panellists with significant financial ties to Purdue and concluded that 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, a number that was wildly inflated. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention later estimated that approximately 52 million adults suffered from chronic pain, and more than 17 million adults in the United States experienced severe or more severe chronic pain.)

However, a report by armed pharmaceutical companies with the thesis that turned out to be influential with officials from the Food and Drug Administration who oversaw the approval of opioids. so what cited by Purdue Pharma lawyers in its response to the Senate inquiry.

Another Academy committee on opioid policy was singled out Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, due to some members’ ties to Purdue. This group, formed in 2016, continued the study after replacing four members.

Articles in Progressive And in V BMJor the British Medical Journal also noted the Sacklers’ connections to academies and identified additional committee members with ties to Purdue.

Friday’s letter asked for a “clear answer” to what procedures are in place to “ensure proper due diligence of advisory committee members,” among other questions.

The Academies told The Times that as of 2019, the Sackler family’s donations are no longer being used for the science events, research and awards they were intended for. The funds have “never been used to support any opioid counseling effort,” spokeswoman Megan Lowry said.

Donations totaled approximately $19 million, and funds invested in the institution’s fund totaled approximately $31 million at the end of 2021, according to the most recent available reporting. Universities that accepted Sackler’s funds, including Tufts and Brown, reallocated some of the money to addiction prevention and treatment.

Members of the Sackler family who actively ran Purdue Pharma began donating to the National Academy of Sciences in 2008. The money was used to sponsor forums and research.

In 2015 family members donated $10 million to create the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize for Convergence Research., according to the reports of the treasurer of the organization. Dr. and Mrs. Sackler died in 2017 and 2019. The family’s lawyer said the donations had “nothing to do with pain, medication or anything to do with the company.”

Dame Gillian Sackler, whose husband Arthur died years before OxyContin hit the market, began donating to the Academies in 2000 and has donated $5 million by 2017, Academy records show.

The day after The Times report was released, the National Academies made a statement stating that it has explored the possibility of returning or repurposing the funds. “The most important consideration will be to do this in an ethical and transparent manner,” the organization said.

The perceived lack of urgency in the statement was quickly helped by a new letter from members of the Academy. “This is another excuse as we read it,” the doctor says. Houser said.

He added: “We wrote them a letter to tell them, ‘Guys, you have to be serious, fast and sufficient in this matter.’

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Sudanese National Health Service doctor finally allowed to return to UK



He is currently being evacuated from Khartoum after being initially turned down because British citizens were a priority.

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How Online Tutoring Can Help Students Succeed in Chemistry



Chemistry is a subject that can be difficult for many students. Whether it’s lectures or homework struggles, access to an experienced, knowledgeable mentor can make all the difference. IN online chemistry tutor is becoming an increasingly popular option for learners of all ages, offering many resources and tools to help them succeed. In this article, we will explore the definition of online chemistry tutoring, its benefits, different types of online chemistry tutoring services, tips for finding the right tutor, and the benefits of using online chemistry tutoring over traditional chemistry tutoring services.

Portrait of a cute tutor and diligent student looking at each other while chatting

Online Chemistry Tutoring is a service that provides students with expert help and guidance in understanding the complexities of chemistry. With the right resources and tools, students can gain valuable knowledge and skills that will help them succeed in their coursework. One of the main advantages of online chemistry tutoring is its affordability. With online tutoring, students can access experienced professionals from the comfort of their own home, without worrying about travel or sticking to a tight schedule.

Various types of online chemistry tutoring services are available to meet student needs. Online chat and video sessions offer an interactive way to learn chemistry by allowing students to interact with their teacher of choice via audio or video chat, making it easy to ask questions and get clarifications on specific topics. Recorded lessons and tutorials are another great option for those who want to brush up on their chemistry skills without the presence of a live instructor. Lessons can be viewed at any time, allowing students to work at their own pace without distractions or outside pressure.

There are several factors to consider when looking for the right online chemistry tutor. First, ask for recommendations from friends and family who have had positive experiences with tutors in the past. They can provide insight into which tutors are doing well and which are not as effective. Also, study reviews from previous clients who have used the same online chemistry tutor or private tutor service you plan to hire. Testimonials are a great way to get an idea of ​​how good a particular teacher is and what results they have achieved with their students in the past.

The benefits of using online chemistry tutoring over traditional in-person tutoring services include convenience and flexibility, access to a wider range of courses, a variety of teaching methods, and the ability to receive immediate feedback. With online tutoring, students can study from anywhere at any time, without the need to travel or stick to a rigid schedule. In addition, online tutors often provide access to materials that are not available locally or through traditional in-person tutoring services. This gives students the opportunity to study more complex topics or different sections of chemistry without having to travel to classes or special lectures.

To conclude, online chemistry tutoring offers many resources and tools to help students succeed in their coursework. With an online chemistry tutor, students can receive personalized tuition and support tailored to their needs. In addition, online chemistry tutoring offers flexibility in terms of teaching hours, so students can study at their own pace, wherever they are. With the right resources, anyone can become a successful chemistry student.

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Froedtert & MCW Tailor Services and Tech Initiatives for the People



The Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin Medical Network in Wisconsin aims to partly address healthcare challenges by building medical information technology and healthcare services for people and their lives, expanding digital health initiatives beyond its Epic EHR, and delving into digital therapy built into apps. .

To get an informative look at this strategy, we interviewed Dr. Bradley Crotty, Chief Digital Engagement Specialist and Therapist at Froedtert and Medical Director of Inception Health, Froedtert’s sister center for digital innovation. We also interviewed D. Melek Somay, CTO of Inception Health.

Q. You believe, and are very passionate about, that health services should be built around people and their lives, and use technology to make care more accessible and health more attainable. Please tell me how you do it today.

Croti: In the United States, advanced technology has moved care more to hospitals, doctor’s offices, or advanced facilities. This has created a lot of bottlenecks – access can be limited and waiting times for many doctors are long and, frankly, there aren’t even enough primary health care providers.

In addition, we have distribution issues where these clinics may not be available to many with needs.
Our mentor, Warner Slack, points out that the patient or potential patient (and family) is the least used resource in healthcare. And we find that this remains true today.

Patients, unfortunately, have to protect themselves (and families), and this should not be the case. We believe we are at a tipping point where technology can help disrupt what used to happen only in doctors’ offices and give people access to affordable, affordable advice.

In the experience we create, we aim to focus on patient/family self-care with restrictions on when to seek professional support. We often use apps and digital therapy to support this work. But this is an inversion of the current model of care, which puts high-priced and scarce specialists in the spotlight.

C. You are building a cloud platform and tools to support care and supplementation services beyond the Epic EHR. Why did you choose this path and what does the technology do?

Somai: Health systems have invested heavily in the fundamentals of electronic health records and IT infrastructure, but these resources are limited to clinical operations and patient records.

Redesigning care to focus on people’s lives requires a new technology stack and culture that includes cloud architecture, agile methodologies, product-centric development, development, and continuous delivery/continuous deployment.

This shift is transforming healthcare systems from end users to technology creators, enabling real-time patient interaction and personalized care while maintaining data privacy and security.

Q. You continue to focus on digital therapy—biology-altering drugs, physiology-altering devices, behavior-altering apps—and have integrated your first digital therapy (mental health-focused) into your mobile app. Why was this a priority for you? , and how will patients use it when you roll it out soon?

Croti: We must make mental health a first-class citizen in primary health care, and mental health support must be available to everyone at the time of need, not at the point of care. We have demonstrated the significant benefit of supporting digital mental health therapy supported by our coaching model and are making it available to a wider range of people.

We will include screening for depression in our apps, with invitations to join our DTx programs when appropriate, and have programs available to watch in case people find they can help with other needs such as insomnia, anxiety , stress, grief or alcohol abuse. .

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Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.

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