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Latest Chuck Grassley Stories

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2009-01-23 07:34:35

The days of pricey gifts for doctors who favor certain drug companies will no longer be a secret under U.S. legislation unveiled on Thursday. The measure would force drug and medical device manufacturers to publicly disclose all doctor payments and gifts exceeding $100 per year. The effort is meant to shine light on the industry's lavish gifts to doctors, which range from pricey dinners to golf vacations, as well as consulting and speaking fees. According to a Reuters report, Iowa...

2009-01-18 00:57:26

A surgeon at the University of Wisconsin-Madison received millions of dollars from a medical device company, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, says. Grassley claimed in a letter to university President Kevin Reilly that Dr. Thomas Zdeblick received more than $19 million from Medtronic between 2003 and 2007, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported. Zdeblick, who heads the orthopedics department at the medical school, acknowledged three years ago that Medtronic was paying him $400,000 a year. In...

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2009-01-15 07:30:00

If confirmed as the new U.S. agriculture secretary, former Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa promised to promote renewable energy like biofuels and work for "more nutritious food produced in a sustainable way." Vilsack told senators during a confirmation hearing that the Agriculture Department's child nutrition programs, which spend $15 billion a year, could be used to end childhood hunger by 2015. "It's a challenge we should take seriously," Vilsack said, adding, "We are a powerful and rich country...

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2008-12-23 14:10:00

As the administration of President-elect Barack Obama nears, advocates for the disabled are hoping that a repeal of the Medicare waiting period is finally at hand. "The current law is really indefensible," said Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M. "There is no logic behind requiring people who are determined to be disabled to wait two years before they become eligible for Medicare." Bingaman introduced a bill to phase out the waiting period, and senator Obama co-sponsored it. John McClain, 56, once...

2008-12-15 10:34:20

A last-minute insertion into the $700 billion U.S. bailout package may allow corporate executives to avoid restrictions on pay packages, a senator said. Congressional aides said the Bush administration insisted on tying the restrictions on executive compensation to companies that sold assets to the government in an auction. However, none of the $335 billion given out so far has been distributed that way, The Washington Post reported Monday. The U.S. Treasury switched tactics to buying equity...

2008-12-13 00:15:13

Pharmaceutical giant Wyeth arranged ghost-written articles in medical journals on its hormone replacement therapy, U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley said Friday. Grassley, R-Iowa, asked the company, based in New Jersey, and DesignWrite, a medical writing company, to provide details including payment for the articles on Prempro and the involvement of doctors who signed them, The New York Times reported. Members of Grassley's staff released documents showing that Wyeth had been recruiting ghost...

2008-11-20 09:51:28

Washington lawmakers said they would consider relief for companies having trouble meeting pension fund obligations as the U.S. economy slows. The value of U.S. pension funds has declined by $250 billion since the winter of 2007 and companies are hard pressed to make up the difference required by law, The New York Times reported Thursday. Four U.S. senators -- Max Baucus, D-Mont.; Charles Grassley, R-Iowa; Michael Enzi, R-Wyo.; and Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. -- have announced a bill to allow...

2008-09-30 15:00:00

AMERICA'S pharmaceutical giants apparently can see the writing on the wall. Congress is ready to take a cold, hard look at their undercover payments to doctors, and they're scurrying to present at least a pretense that they're getting their houses in order. It's been the dirty little secret in the medical profession for decades: Millions of dollars dished out annually to tens of thousands of doctors in speaking and consulting fees, in addition to travel, meals, entertainment and assorted...

2008-09-12 18:00:31

Today, NGVAmerica commended Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) for their leadership in introducing "The Energy Independence and Investment Act of 2008." That legislation would extend existing tax credits for: (1) the purchase of natural gas used in vehicles, (2) the purchase of the natural gas vehicles themselves, and (3) the installation of natural gas fueling infrastructure. "There is a growing awareness that natural gas vehicles can and must play a greater role in...

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2008-07-28 11:05:00

A report recently issued by the Government Accountability Office is shedding light onto a gray area of medical practice and federal oversight: the use of medications to treat conditions other than the ones the drugs were approved for, a practice known as "off-label" prescribing. When federal regulators discover a drug company that is selling prescription medications for unapproved use, it can take them an average of seven months to issue a warning, according to the new report. During that...