Wednesday, February 8, 2012

NIH Proposes a New Institute

graphics from

NIH released today a new Request for Information (RFI): Input into the Scientific Strategic Plan for the proposed National Institute of Substance Use and Addiction Disorders. Based on  Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB) recommendation from Dec 2010 (well, the NIH bureaucracy definitely is a problem...) NIH proposes a new Institute, which will replace and expand two other units: the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). They key information here is that finally NIH reorganizes its structure to potentially increase productivity and reduce costs of redundant administration. 
What we don’t know yet is the Strategic Scientific Plan, probably the most crucial document for the new Institute, which will frame it’s scientific goals and directions of development including not only research but also public health needs. 
In the context of emerging problems like widespread abuse of prescription drugs as well as completely futile and irrational “war on drugs” it will be very interesting to see, which directions of drug policy NIH will support.

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