By Mike DeNardo
CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — The government shutdown isn’t having an immediate impact on local medical research. But for some sick people, it could be delaying their treatment.
Dr. Generosa Grana, director of the MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, says NIH-funded studies at Cooper have not been affected by the government shutdown. But she says what has been affected is the ability to refer new patients to NIH studies — because three-quarters of NIH workers have been furloughed.
Grana says it’s only going to get more difficult, the longer the shutdown drags on.
“The effect is actually going to be there because studies that were in development are stalling — they can’t move forward,” she tells KYW Newsradio. “Studies that were being changed or amended because of toxicity, those changes aren’t being made. So research is going to be slowed if this continues.”
Grana says that last week Cooper doctors wanted to send a leukemia patient to the NIH but were turned away.