Some Kids With Cancer Won't Be Treated at NIH During Shutdown

Tuesday, 01 Oct 2013 07:56 PM

By Todd Beamon

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As many as 200 patients, including children with cancer, will be turned down each week for clinical trials by the National Institutes of Health during the government shutdown.

About 14,700 employees —  nearly 75 percent of the agency's staff — were furloughed at midnight, John Burklow, an NIH spokesman, told ABC News Tuesday.

As a result, those 200 patients — including about 30 children, many of whom have cancer — will not be able to undergo clinical trials at the NIH Clinical Center.

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The center is the world's largest research hospital, ABC reported.

“Unfortunately, almost everybody is gone,” Burklow told ABC.

Although more than 1,400 ongoing clinical trials will continue at the center, no new patients will be enrolled and no new trials will start during the shutdown, he said.

“There are four new protocols [clinical trials] ready to start next week, and they won’t be starting during the shutdown if we’re still shut down,” he told ABC.

The Washington Post reports 2,564 staff members will remain on hand at the Clinical Center for general patient care.

Related Stories:

Government Shutdown Disrupts Public Health Programs

CIA, Spy Agencies Face Big Layoffs in Government Shutdown

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