What Republicans propose about medical research, healthcare workers, the FDA, and veterans

Modern miracles involving genetics, the immune system, cures for deadly diseases, and more are in the research pipeline. This is the consequence of marrying significant investment, both public and private, with the world’s best talent, a formula that has for a century given the American people the world’s best healthcare.

In this post, I present sections of the 2016 Republican Party platform dealing with healthcare workers, medical research, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and veterans’ healthcare.

I have included a few links to other sites to provide context; they are not necessarily endorced by the party.

Protecting Individual Conscience in Healthcare

America’s healthcare professionals should not be forced to choose between following their faith and practicing their profession.

We respect the rights of conscience of healthcare professionals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and organizations, especially the faith-based groups which provide a major portion of care for the nation and the needy.

a physician extending a stethoscope toward a patient who is not visible

Advancing Research and Development in Healthcare

Modern miracles involving genetics, the immune system, cures for deadly diseases, and more are in the research pipeline. This is the consequence of marrying significant investment, both public and private, with the world’s best talent, a formula that has for a century given the American people the world’s best healthcare.

We are determined that it should continue to do so, especially as we confront new dangers like Ebola, Zika, Chikungunya, and antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

To continue our headway against breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, and other killers, research must consider the needs of formerly neglected demographic groups.

a drawing representing CRISPR
CRISPR-Cas9 is a customizable tool that lets scientists cut and insert small pieces of DNA at precise areas along a DNA strand. This lets scientists study our genes in a specific, targeted way. Credit: Ernesto del Aguila III, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH

Republicans

call for expanded support for the stem cell research that now offers the greatest hope for many afflictions — through adult stem cells, umbilical cord blood, and cells reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cells — without the destruction of embryonic human life

urge a ban on human cloning for research or reproduction, and a ban on the creation of, or experimentation on, human embryos for research

believe the FDA’s approval of Mifeprex, a dangerous abortifacient formerly known as RU-486, threatens women’s health, as does the agency’s endorsement of over-the-counter sales of powerful contraceptives without a physician’s recommendation.

Putting Patients First: Reforming the FDA

The United States has led life sciences and medical innovation for decades, bringing millions of high-paying jobs to our country and helping Americans and people around the world live longer, healthier lives. Unfortunately, the continuously increasing burden of governmental regulation and red tape is taking its toll on our innovative companies, and their pipeline of new life-saving devices and drugs to our nation’s patients is slowing and diminishing.

Collage of Various Types and Colors of Medication
Collage of Various Types and Colors of Medication

The FDA-Food and Drug Administration– has slowly but relentlessly changed into an agency that more and more puts the public health at risk by delaying, chilling, and killing the development of new devices, drugs and biologics that can promote our lives and our health.

The FDA needs leadership that can reform the agency for our century and fix the lack of predictability, consistency, transparency and efficiency at the agency.

The FDA needs to return to its traditional emphasis on hard science and approving new breakthrough medicines, rather than divert its attention and consume its resources trying to overregulate electronic health records or vaping.

We pledge

to restore the FDA to its position as the premier scientific health agency, focused on both promoting and protecting the public health in equal measure, so we can ensure that Americans live longer, healthier lives,

that the United States remains the world leader in life sciences and medical innovation,

that millions of high-paying, cutting-edge device and drug jobs stay in the United States,

that U.S. patients benefit first and most from new devices and drugs, and

that the FDA no longer wastes U.S. taxpayer and innovators’ resources through bureaucratic red tape and legal uncertainty.

We commend those states that have passed Right to Try legislation, allowing terminally ill patients the right to try investigational medicines not yet approved by the FDA. We urge Congress to pass federal legislation to give all Americans with terminal illnesses the right to try.

Honoring and Supporting Our Veterans: A Sacred Obligation

Our wounded warriors, whether still in service or discharged, deserve the best medical care the country can provide. We must make military and veterans’ medicine the gold standard for mental health, traumatic brain injury, multiple traumas, loss of limbs, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Those injuries require a new commitment of targeted resources and personnel for treatment and care to advance recovery.

disabled veteran patch
Photo by Dr Aletha

The VA- Veterans Administration

That includes allowing veterans to choose to access care in the community and not just in VA facilities, because the best care in the world is not effective if it is not accessible.

We will seek to consolidate the VA’s existing community care authorities to make a single program that will be easily understood by both veterans and VA healthcare providers.

Like the rest of American medicine, the VA faces a critical shortage of primary care and mental health physicians. That’s why there are long waiting times to see a doctor and why doctors are often frustrated by the limited time they have with their patients.

This is especially the case with mental health care, which often amounts to prescribing drugs because there are not enough psychologists and psychiatrists to do anything else. Inadequate treatment of PTSD drives other problems like suicide, homelessness, and unemployment.

This situation may not be quickly reversed, but a Republican administration will begin, on day one, to undertake the job.

Over-prescription of opioids has become a nationwide problem hindering the treatment of veterans suffering from mental health issues. We therefore support the need to explore new and broader ranges of options, including faithbased programs, that will better serve the veteran and reduce the need to rely on drugs as the sole

exploring the HEART of healthcare policy

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Medical stethoscope and heart on a textured background

Dr Aletha

Here is another post in this series you’ll want to read also.

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