Wednesday, November 23, 2005

National Cancer Institute Cancels Subscription to Cancer Letter: "Strictly a Budget Issue"

The Washington Post reported on a new "cost-cutting move" by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The NCI, which has a budget of approximately $4.8 billion, canceled its electronic site license for a publication called the Cancer Letter, thereby saving a whopping $48,083. NCI spokesperson Peggy Rhoades said this was "strictly a budget issue" by "budget folks." The NCI also dropped one other subscription, for a total saving of $80,000, about 0.00167% of its budget.
On the other hand, Ellen L. Stovall, President of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, said "The Cancer Letter shines the light of day on the politicization of cancer issues." An anonymous senior NCI investigator said that NCI Director (and acting Food and Drug Administration [FDA]) Director Andrew C. von Eschenbach "clearly did not care for the cancer letter." The Post noted that the Cancer Letter "had been a thorn in the side of von Eschenbach...."
Of course, closing one's ears to criticism doesn't make it any less valid.

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