ALSO NOTED: CDC grants to help RHIOs share public health data; AHRQ awards millions for clinical-decision support systems; and

> The CDC has awarded $38 million in contracts to help health information exchanges and regional health information organizations to create data sharing plans used to deliver information to public health authorities. Report

> Two academic medical centers have been awarded contracts worth a total of $5 million by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to develop clinical decision-support tools. Report

> Aetna has become the latest in a crowded field of PHR contenders, going up against everyone from Google and Microsoft to giant employer coalitions Dossia and WebMD. Report

And Finally... IMS Health is out with its new annual pharma sales report, and it's not pretty. Revenue grew by only 3.8 percent to $286.5 billion, the slowest pace of expansion since 1961. By contrast, sales expanded by 6 percent in 2006. Total prescription volume rose only by 2.8 percent, compares with 4.6 percent the previous year. Report

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