NIH Strategic Management Review Board to Discuss Potential Institute Mergers

On February 4-5, 2009, the NIDA and NIAAA are scheduled to meet. Part of that time will be used to discuss whether or not to consider a possible merger of these two organizations.

On February 4, at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Advisory Council meeting (and the next day at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Advisory Council), the NIH Acting Deputy Director, Lawrence Tabak, DDS, PhD, discussed the agenda for the upcoming NIH Strategic Management Review Board (SMRB) meeting scheduled for April 27-28. Part of that meeting will be used to discuss whether or not to consider a possible merger of NIDA and NIAAA. Whoever is Deputy Director of NIH at the time of the meeting will provide the SMRB with a neutral (agnostic) overview of the proposal to merge the two institutes, and then Dr. Ken Warren (Acting Director, NIAAA) and Dr. Nora Volkow (Director, NIDA) will provide their own institute perspectives. At that point, the Board will decide if it is an issue worthy of further study and, if so, that will trigger a series of meetings (a minimum of 5) that would involve all stakeholders at various levels (including the scientific community, the patient community, and the individual advisory councils). The SMRB would then provide some summary recommendation to DHHS and the NIH Director. APA CEO, Dr. Norman Anderson, sent a letter to Norman Augustine, Chair of the SMRB, requesting an opportunity to present an APA statement about the proposed merger at the first meeting.