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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - September, 2010



Congressional Affairs (Prepared September 1, 2010)

Appropriations

The President's Fiscal Year 2011 budget request includes $32.1 billion for NIH, a $1 billion (3.2%) increase over FY 2010. For NIDA, the request includes $1.094 billion, $34.6 million (3.3%) over the FY 2010 level.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has reported out its Labor, HHS, and Education bill - it would fund the NIH and NIDA at the level requested in the President's Budget. Committee action is pending in the House.

Hearings/Briefings

Congressional Briefing on Medications to Treat Addiction: On May 11, 2010, the Friends of NIDA, in conjunction with the Congressional Addiction,Treatment and Recovery Caucus, sponsored and presented a briefing on developing medications to treat drug addiction and implications for policy and practice. Nora D. Volkow, MD, Director of NIDA, and A. Thomas McLellan, PhD, Deputy Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), addressed an interested audience of congressional staff members, addiction treatment professionals, and advocates.

Dr. Volkow began by presenting new medication research supported by NIDA. Pointing out the lack of effective approved medications to treat cocaine, marijuana, and opiate addictions, Dr. Volkow described the major barriers to funding for medication research and proposed strategies to address those barriers. Major barriers to funding included the stigma of addiction, lack of pharmaceutical industry involvement, cost and length of drug discovery process, and regulatory issues surrounding controlled substances. (NIDA's Topic in Brief on this subject is available at http://www.nida.nih.gov/tib/MedicationsDev.html.)

Dr. McLellan conveyed the state of drug addiction in the U.S. and illustrated the need for an improved infrastructure to deliver medication and other forms of addiction treatment. Dr. McLellan discussed the nature and course of drug use and addiction and the necessity for treatment, including specific medications and behavioral therapies.

Following the presentations, congressional staff members were eager to learn how Congress can act to promote medication development research and addiction treatment. One major focus of the question and answer session was the role that Congress can play in incentivizing pharmaceutical companies to fund research on medications to treat addiction. Dr. Volkow's presentation is available at http://www.apa.org/about/gr/science/spin/2010/05/volkow-presentation.pdf. Dr. McLellan's presentation is available at http://www.apa.org/about/gr/science/spin/2010/05/ substance-use.pdf.

Congressional Hearing on Medications to Treat Addiction: On June 23, 2010, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Domestic Policy, held a hearing titled "Treating Addiction as a Disease: The Promise of Medication Assisted Recovery." This hearing was scheduled as the result of interest generated by the May 11 briefing, described above. NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow and ONDCP Deputy Director Dr. Thomas McLellan testified as government witnesses at this hearing. Formal testimonies from this hearing, a complete witness list, and the Chairman's (Dennis Kucinich, D-OH) opening statement are available at http://oversight.house.gov/index.php

Legislation of Particular Interest

Cocaine Sentencing (S. 1789)—On August 3, the President signed the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 into law (P.L. 111-220). The law sets an 18-to-1 ratio for crack and powder cocaine in sentencing guidelines (reduced from a 100-to-1 ratio) and eliminates the mandatory minimum prison sentence for simple possession of crack, the only drug for which possession leads to such sentences.

Bills of Interest

[For the full text and additional information about any bill, go to the Library of Congress website at http://thomas.loc.gov].

H.R. 18—On January 6, Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) introduced the "Powder-Crack Cocaine Penalty Equalization Act of 2009," to amend the Controlled Substances Act and the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act with respect to penalties for powder cocaine and crack cocaine offenses. The bill was referred to the Judiciary and Energy and Commerce Committees. [see "Cocaine Sentencing," above]

H.R. 179—On January 6, Representative Jose Serrano (D-NY) introduced the Community AIDS and Hepatitis Prevention Act, to permit the use of federal funds for syringe exchange programs for purposes of reducing the transmission of bloodborne pathogens, including HIV and viral hepatitis. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R. 265—On January 7, Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) introduced the Drug Sentencing Reform and Cocaine Kingpin Trafficking Act of 2009, to target cocaine kingpins and address sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. The bill was referred to the Judiciary and Energy and Commerce Committees. [see "Cocaine Sentencing," above]

H.R. 439—On January 9, Representative Dennis Rehberg (R-MT) introduced the Family-Based Meth Treatment Access Act of 2009, to amend the Public Health Service Act regarding residential treatment programs for pregnant and parenting women, a program to reduce substance abuse among nonviolent offenders, and for other services. The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R. 554—On February 11, the House passed the National Nanotechnology Initiative Amendments (NNI) of 2009. The measure was introduced by Representative Bart Gordon (D-TN) on January 15. In general, H.R. 554 would require all agencies participating in the NNI to support the setting of standards for nanotechnology. The bill was sent to the Senate where it is pending before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

H.R. 756—On March 30, the House passed the National Pain Care Policy Act. Relevant to NIH, the bill would (1) encourage the NIH Director, through the NIH Pain Consortium, to continue and expand an aggressive pain research program, (2) require the NIH Pain Consortium to submit annual recommendations on pain research initiatives that could be paid for by the Common Fund, and (3) require the HHS Secretary to establish an Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee, which would include NIH membership. The bill is pending in the Senate as S. 660. (Note: many aspects of this bill were included in the new health reform law.)

H.R. 758—On January 28, Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) introduced the Pediatric Research Consortia Establishment Act to amend Title IV of the PHS Act to provide for the establishment of pediatric research consortia. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. See S.353

H.R. 836—On February 3, Representative Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) introduced the Brewers Excise and Economic Relief (BEER) Act, which if enacted would effectively return the federal beer excise tax to its pre-1991 levels. In the House the bill has 242 cosponsors. The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means. See S. 1058

H.R. 872—On February 4, Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) introduced the Stem Cell Research Improvement Act of 2009. The bill would require the Secretary to conduct and support research that uses human embryonic stem cells, regardless of the date on which such cells were derived. The bill outlines certain ethical criteria, and would require that the Secretary, in consultation with the Director of NIH, issue guidelines to carry out the provisions of the legislation within 90 days of enactment. H.R. 872 also provides that the Secretary may issue guidelines on research involving other human stem cells, as determined to be scientifically warranted by the Director of NIH. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R. 873—On February 4, Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) introduced H.R. 873, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2009. Like H.R. 872, the bill would require the Secretary to conduct and support research that uses human embryonic stem cells. The bill sets out certain ethical criteria, and would require that the Secretary, in consultation with the Director of NIH, issue final guidelines to carry out the provisions of the legislation within 60 days of enactment. H.R. 873 was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. See S. 487

H.R. 877—On February 4, Representative Randy Forbes (R-VA) introduced H.R. 877, the Patients First Act of 2009. The bill would require the Secretary of HHS to conduct and support research using stem cells, including pluripotent stem cells that "have the flexibility of embryonic stem cells (whether or not such pluripotent stem cells have an embryonic source)." The Secretary, after consultation with Director of NIH, would be required to issue guidelines within 90 days that would prioritize research that has the "potential for near term clinical benefit in human patients." The bill also would add "stem cells" to the list of issues for which a summary of research activities is required as part of the NIH biennial report. H.R. 877 was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R. 1011—February 12, Representative Gene Green (D-TX) introduced the Community Mental Health Services Improvement Act, to amend the Public Health Service Act with respect to mental health services. The bill was referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee. See S. 1188.

H.R. 1028—On February 12, Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) introduced the Support 21 Act of 2009, to provide additional support for the efforts of community coalitions, health care providers, parents and others to prevent and reduce underage drinking, and for other purposes. The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R. 1429—On March 17 the House passed the Stop AIDS in Prison Act of 2009, to provide for an effective HIV/AIDS program in Federal prisons. The bill was transmitted to the Senate, where it is pending in the Committee on the Judiciary.

H.R. 1459—On March 12 Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced the Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act of 2009, to amend the Controlled Substance Act and the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act regarding penalties for cocaine offenses. The bill was reported from the Judiciary Committee and is pending in the Energy and Commerce Committee. See H.R. 3245. [see "Cocaine Sentencing," above]

H.R. 1483—On March 12 Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) introduced the National Neurotechnology Initiative Act, to direct the Secretary of HHS to implement a National Neurotechnology Initiative, and for other purposes. The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce. See S. 586

H.R. 1715—On March 25, Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) introduced H.R. 1715, the Protection for Participants in Research Act of 2009. The bill includes several modifications to the current system for protections of human research participants. H.R. 1715 was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R. 2134—On April 28, 2009, Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY) introduced the Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission Act of 2009, to establish the Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission. The bill was passed on December 8, and is currently pending in the Senate. It has been referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

H.R. 2138—On April 28 Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) introduced the Services, Education and Rehabilitation for Veterans (SERV) Act, to provide grants to establish veterans treatment courts. The bill was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. See S. 902

H.R. 2354—On May 12, Representative Janice Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced the Health Promotion Funding Integrated Research, Synthesis, and Training Act or the Health Promotion FIRST Act. Provisions relevant to NIH would require the Director of NIH, acting through OBSSR, to develop a plan on how best to develop the science of health promotion at the agency. The plan must provide for the allocation of resources for the research. The bill would also require the Director of NIH, acting through OBSSR, to conduct or support early research programs and research training regarding health promotion. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. See S. 1001

H.R. 2369—On May 12, Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) introduced the Improving the Quality of Mental and Substance Use Health Care Act of 2009, to improve mental and substance use health care. The bill was referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee.

H.R. 2502—On May 19, Representative Kurt Schrader (D-OR) introduced the Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) Act of 2009. The bill would establish a nonprofit corporation called the Health Care Comparative Effectiveness Research Institute to contract with appropriate Federal agencies or the private sector to conduct comparative effectiveness research. The Institute would be responsible for (1) establishing and carrying out a research project agenda [in carrying out a research agenda, Institute is authorized to enter into contracts with Federal government agencies with experience in conducting CER], (2) establishing a methodology committee to develop scientifically-based methodological standards for comparative clinical effectiveness research [would be required to consult or contract with IOM, AHRQ, NIH (can contract with one or more) in developing and updating standards], and (3) ensuring that there is a process for peer-review of the research [Institute would be authorized to use existing peer-review processes used by entities with which the Institute contracts]. Provisions would also establish a Board of Governors comprising 21 members, including the Secretary of HHS, the Director of AHRQ and the Director of NIH, to oversee the Institute's activities. The legislation would create the Comparative Effectiveness Research Trust Fund in the U.S. Treasury. The Trust Fund would be financed through fees on Medicare and private health insurance plans, in addition to transferring CER funds in ARRA (P.L. 111-5) not already obligated or expended. Funding for the Institute would sunset after 10 years. H.R. 2502 was jointly referred to the House Committees on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means. (Note: many of these provisions were adopted as part of the new health reform law.)

H.R. 2818—On June 11, Representative Jerry McNerney (D-CA) introduced the Methamphetamine Education, Treatment, and Hope Act of 2009, to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for the establishment of a drug-free workplace information clearinghouse, to support residential methamphetamine treatment programs for pregnant and parenting women, to improve the prevention and treatment of methamphetamine addiction, and for other purposes. The bill was referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee.

H.R. 2835—On June 11, Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced the Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act, to provide for the medical use of marijuana in accordance with the laws of the various States. The bill was referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee.

H.R. 2855—On June 12, 2009, Representative Donna Edwards (D-MD) introduced the Drug Overdose Reduction Act, to reduce deaths occurring from drug overdoses. The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R. 2906—On June 16, Representative Jim Moran (D-VA) introduced the Comprehensive Problem Gambling Act of 2009, to amend the Public Health Service Act to specifically include problem and pathological gambling in programs of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and to establish a national program to address the harmful consequences of problem gambling. The bill includes a new advisory commission that would coordinate research by several agencies, including NIH. The bill was referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee.

H.R. 2943—On June 18, Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2009, to, eliminate most federal penalties for possession of marijuana for personal use, and for other purposes. The bill was referred to the Judiciary and Energy and Commerce Committees.

H.R. 3001—On June 23, Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the Ending LGBT Health Disparities Act. H.R. 3001 would require the collection of sexual and gender minority data from each health related program operated by or that receives funding from the Department of Health and Human Services. The bill also would require the Secretary, acting through the Secretary of LGBT Health (a position that would be established by the bill), and the Directors of the Agency for Health Quality and Research and the NIH, to develop plans to expand existing research into health disparities to include those experienced by sexual and gender minority populations. H.R. 3001 was referred to the House Committees on Energy and Commerce, Armed Services, Judiciary, Ways and Means, Oversight and Government Reform, House Administration, Veterans' Affairs, Transportation and Infrastructure, Intelligence and Foreign Affairs.

H.R. 3002—On June 23, Representative John Boehner (R-OH) introduced the Preserving Access to Targeted, Individualized, and Effective new Treatments and Services (PATIENTS) Act of 2009. The bill would prohibit the Secretary of HHS from using data obtained from comparative effectiveness research (CER), including CER research funded by P.L. 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), to deny coverage under a Federal health care program. The Secretary would also be tasked with ensuring that CER conducted or supported by the Federal Government accounts for factors contributing to differences in the treatment response and treatment preferences of patients, including patient-reported outcomes, genomics and personalized medicine, the unique needs of health disparity populations, and indirect patient benefits. The bill was jointly referred to the House Committees on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means. See S. 1259

H.R. 3065—On June 26, Representative Jan Schakowsky introduced the Mental Illness Chronic Care Improvement Act of 2009, to establish a chronic care improvement demonstration program for Medicaid beneficiaries with severe mental illnesses, including co-occurring substance use disorders. The bill was referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee. See S.1136

H.R. 3075—On June 26, Representative John Lewis (D-GA) introduced the National Parents Corps Act of 2009, to establish a National Parents Corps Program, and for other purposes. The bill was referred to the Education and Labor Committee.

H.R. 3245—On July 16, Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced the Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act of 2009, to amend the Controlled Substances Act and the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act regarding penalties for cocaine offences. This bill would effectively equalize federal cocaine sentencing for crack vs. powdered cocaine. The bill was reported out by the Judiciary Committee and is pending in the Energy and Commerce Committee. See H.R. 1459. [see "Cocaine Sentencing," above]

H.R. 3400—On July 30, Representative Tom Price (R-GA) introduced the Empowering Patients First Act. Section 801 would (1) prohibit the Secretary of HHS from using data obtained from CER, including research conducted or supported using funds appropriated under ARRA, to deny coverage of an item or service under a Federal health care program; (2) require the Secretary to ensure that CER conducted or supported by the Federal Government accounts for factors contributing to differences in the treatment response and treatment preferences of patients, including patient-reported outcomes, genomics and personalized medicine, the unique needs of health disparity populations, and indirect patient benefits; and (3) prohibit the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research findings from being released in final form until after consultation with and approval by relevant physician specialty organizations. H.R. 3400 was jointly referred to the House Committees on Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means; Education and Labor; Oversight and Government Reform; Judiciary; Rules; Budget; and Appropriations.

H.R. 3420—On July 30, Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) introduced the SUPPORT for Substance Use Disorders Act, to improve and enhance substance use disorder programs for members of the armed forces, and for other purposes. The bill was referred to the Armed Services Committee. See S. 459

H.R. 3475—On July 31, Representative Randy Forbes (R-VA) introduced H.R. 3475, the Accelerate Cures for Patients Act of 2009. The bill would amend the PHS Act to authorize to be appropriated (in addition to amounts authorized to NIH under Section 402A of the PHS Act) an equal amount for medical research that has the greatest potential for near-term clinical benefit in human patients. H.R. 3475 was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R. 3939—On October 27, 2009, Representative Sam Farr (D-CA) introduced the Truth in Trials Act, to amend Title 18 of the United States Code to provide an affirmative defense for the medical use of marijuana in accordance with the laws of the various states. The bill was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

H.R. 4055—On November 6, 2009, Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) introduced the Honest Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) Initiative Act of 2009, to authorize a national HOPE program to reduce drug use, crime, and costs of incarceration. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

H.R. 4748—On July 27, 2010, the House passed the Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy Act of 2010, to amend the Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2006 to require a northern border counternarcotics strategy, and for other purposes. The bill is pending in the Senate, where it was referred to the Judiciary Committee.

H.R. 5143—On July 27, 2010, the House passed the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2010, to undertake a comprehensive review of the criminal justice system, encompassing current Federal, State, local, and tribal criminal justice policies and practices, and make reform recommendations for the President, Congress, State, local, and tribal governments. The bill is pending in the Senate.

H.R. 5466—On May 28, 2010, Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) introduced the SAMHSA Modernization Act of 2010, to amend Titles V and XIX of the Public Health Service Act to revise and extend substance use disorder and mental health programs, and for other purposes. The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R. 5678—On July 1, 2010, Representative Russ Carnahan (R-MO) introduced the Universal Access to Methamphetamine Treatment Act of 2010 to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide grants for treatment of methamphetamine abuse, and for other purposes. The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R. 5916—On July 28, 2010, Representative John Salazar (D-CO) introduced the Methamphetamine Prevention Campaign Grant Program Act of 2010, to establish a methamphetamine prevention campaign grant program. The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce. See S. 3278.

H.R. 5925—On July 29, 2010, Representative Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) introduced the Safe Prescription Drug Disposal and Education Act, to authorize the Attorney General to make grants to States, units of local government, Indian tribes, and other entities for prescription drug disposal units and for prescription drug abuse education. The bill was referred to the Committees on Energy and Commerce, and Judiciary.

H.R. 6090—On August 10, 2010, Representative Sheila Jackson Lee introduced the Drug Court Reauthorization Act, to reauthorize and amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 relating to drug courts. The bill was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

S. 77—On January 6, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) introduced the Children's Mental Health Parity Act, to amend Title XXI of the Social Security Act to provide for equal coverage of mental health services under the State Children's Health Insurance Program. The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance.

S. 114—On January 6, Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) introduced the National Center for Social Work Research Act, to amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for the establishment of a National Center for Social Work Research within the National Institutes of Health. The bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

S. 132—On January 6, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the Gang Abatement and Prevention Act of 2009, to increase and enhance law enforcement resources committed to investigation and prosecution of violent gangs, to deter and punish violent gang crime, to protect law-abiding citizens and communities from violent criminals, to revise and enhance criminal penalties for violent crimes, to expand and improve gang prevention programs, and for other purposes. Section 313 of the bill establishes a National Youth Anti-Heroin Media Campaign at the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The bill was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

S. 177—On January 8, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) introduced S. 177, the Strengthening Our Economy Through Small Business Innovation Act of 2009. The measure would extend the SBIR program through 2022 and the STTR program through 2023. Additionally, S. 177 would increase SBIR set-aside allocations to 5 percent by 2010, 7.5 percent by 2011, and 10 percent by 2012. The set-aside levels for the STTR program would also double by 2010, and then increase to 0.8 percent by 2011 and to 1.0 percent by 2012. The measure also proposes to increase the SBIR and STTR award levels for phase 1 and 2 grants to $300,000 and $2.2 million, respectively. Finally, the bill would give greater priority consideration to research areas, including those related to energy, security, transportation, and water. S. 177 currently has no co-sponsors and was referred to the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

S. 353—On January 29, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced the Pediatric Research Consortia Establishment Act to amend Title IV of the PHS Act to provide for the establishment of pediatric research consortia. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. See H.R. 758

S. 459—On February 24, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced the SUPPORT for Substance Use Disorders Act, to improve and enhance substance use disorder programs for members of the armed forces, and for other purposes. The bill was referred to the Committee on Armed Services. See H.R. 3420.

S. 487—On February 26, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2009, which was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. See H.R. 873

S. 586—On March 12 Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the National Neurotechnology Initiative Act, to direct the Secretary of HHS to implement a National Neurotechnology Initiative, and for other purposes. The bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. See H.R. 1483

S. 660—On March 19, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), introduced S. 660, the National Pain Care Policy Act. The NIH provisions in S. 660 are identical to H.R. 756, described above. S. 660 was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

S. 714—On March 26, Senator James Webb (D-VA) introduced the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009, a bill to establish the National Criminal Justice Commission. On January 21, 2010, the bill was amended and reported favorably from the Committee on the Judiciary. The bill (as amended) passed the House; it is pending on the Senate calendar. See H.R. 5143

S. 754—On March 31, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced the Methadone Treatment and Protection Act of 2009, to provide for increased federal oversight of methadone treatment. The bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

S. 902—On April 27 Senator John Kerry (D-MA) introduced the Services, Education and Rehabilitation for Veterans (SERV) Act, to provide grants to establish veterans treatment courts. The bill was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. See H.R. 2138

S. 914—On April 28, Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) introduced S. 914, the Cures Acceleration Network and National Institutes of Health Reauthorization Act of 2009. This legislation would (1) establish the Cures Acceleration Network, an independent agency that would make awards to accelerate the development of cures and treatment of diseases, (2) elevate NCMHD to institute status, (3) increase NIH's authorization of appropriations section to $40 billion for FY 2010 and such sums as may be necessary for each of the FYs 2011 to 2012, and (4) require the Director of NIH to develop and enforce conflict of interest policies. S. 914 was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). (NOTE: many provisions of this bill were included in the new health reform law.)

S. 1001—On May 7, Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) introduced the Health Promotion Funding Integrated Research, Synthesis, and Training Act or the Health Promotion FIRST Act. Provisions relevant to NIH would require the Director of NIH, acting through OBSSR, to develop a plan on how to best develop the science of health promotion at the agency. The plan must provide for the allocation of resources for the research. The bill would also require the Director of NIH, acting through OBSSR, to conduct or support early research programs and research training regarding health promotion. The bill was referred to the Senate HELP Committee. See H.R. 2354

S. 1058—On May 14, Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) introduced the Brewers Excise and Economic Relief (BEER) Act of 2009, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to reduce the tax on beer to its pre-1991 level, and for other purposes. The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance. See H.R. 836

S. 1136—On May 21, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced the Mental Illness Chronic Care Improvement Act of 2009, to establish a chronic care improvement demonstration program for Medicaid beneficiaries with severe mental illnesses, including co-occurring substance use disorders. The bill was referred to the Committee on Finance. See H.R. 3065.

S. 1188—On June 4, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced the Community Mental Health Services Improvement Act, to amend the Public Health Service Act with respect to mental health services. The bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. See H.R. 1011

S. 1259—On June 15, Senator John Kyl (R-AZ) introduced the Preserving Access to Targeted, Individualized, and Effective new Treatments and Services (PATIENTS) Act of 2009. The bill would prohibit the Secretary of HHS from using data obtained from comparative effectiveness research (CER), including CER research funded by P.L. 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), to deny coverage under a Federal health care program. The Secretary would also be tasked with ensuring that CER conducted or supported by the Federal Government accounts for factors contributing to differences in the treatment response and treatment preferences of patients, including patient-reported outcomes, genomics and personalized medicine, the unique needs of health disparity populations, and indirect patient benefits. The bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. See H.R. 3002

S. 1373—On June 25, Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA), to require every federal department and agency with an annual extramural research budget of $100 million or more to make their research available to the public within six months of publication. Senators Cornyn and Lieberman first introduced this legislation in the 109th Congress. The NIH Public Access Policy was established statutorily with the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008, (P.L. 110-161), and became permanent upon passage of the Fiscal 2009 Omnibus Appropriations (P.L. 111-8). The NIH policy requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central (PMC) upon acceptance for publication, and be accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication. Specifically, the FRPAA would:

  • Require every researcher with an annual extramural research budget of $100 million or more, whether funded totally or partially by a government department or agency, to submit an electronic copy of the final manuscript that has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Ensure that the manuscript is preserved in a stable digital repository maintained by that agency or in another suitable repository that permits free public access, interoperability, and long-term preservation.
  • Require that each taxpayer-funded manuscript be made available to the public online and without cost, no later than six months after the article has been published in a peer-reviewed journal. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

S. 3011—On February 11, 2009, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced S. 3011, the National Black Clergy for the Elimination of HIV/AIDS Act of 2009, to address HIV/AIDS in the African-American community. Research provisions would (1) authorize the Secretary, DHHS, acting through the Director, NIH, to conduct or support culturally competent research to develop evidence-based behavioral strategies to reduce the transmission of HIV/AIDS within this community, and (2) require the Secretary to prioritize research that focuses on populations within the African-American community that are at increased risk for HIV/AIDS. Authorized to be appropriated would be $10 million for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010, and such sums as may be necessary for FYs 2011 through 2014. In addition, the Secretary, acting through the Director, NCMHD, would be authorized to make grants for studies of biological and behavioral factors that lead to increased prevalence and that are conducted by researchers with a history and tradition of service to African-American communities; and behavioral and structural network research and interventions, in collaboration with other NIH institutes and centers, faith- and community-based organizations and others. Authorized to be appropriated would be $100,000,000 for FY 2010, and such sums as may be necessary for FYs 2011 through 2014. S. 3011 was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

S. 3031—On February 24, 2010, Senator Leahy (D-VT) introduced the Drug Free Communities Enhancement act of 2010, to authorize Drug Free Communities enhancement grants to address major emerging drug issues or local drug crises. The bill was amended and reported favorably by the Judiciary Committee, and is now pending on the Senate calendar.

S. 3278—On April 29, 2010, Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced the Methamphetamine Prevention Campaign Grant Program Act of 2010, to establish a methamphetamine prevention campaign grant program. The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce. See H.R. 5916

S. 3397—On August 3, 2010, the Senate passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to provide for take-back disposal of controlled substances in certain instances, and for other purposes. The bill was sent to the House, where it is pending before the Committees on Energy and Commerce, and Judiciary.

S. 3575—On July 13, 2010, Senator Richard Durbin introduced the National All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting Reauthorization Act of 2010, to amend and reauthorize the controlled substance monitoring program under section 3990 of the Public Health Service Act and to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to share information about the use of controlled substances by veterans with State prescription monitoring programs to prevent misuse and diversion of prescription medicines. The bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

On April 20, 2010, Representative Patrick Kennedy (RI), along with Representative John Sullivan (OK), Representative Mary Bono Mack (CA), and Representative Carol Shea-Porter (NH), entered an official statement into the Congressional Record recognizing and congratulating the accomplishments of the CTN on its 10th Anniversary. Excerpts from the statement include: "Ten years ago, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)... embarked upon a bold initiative by creating the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN) to accelerate the process of transforming research findings into proven treatments for use in community practice settings. The CTN focuses directly on studies that can demonstrate the effectiveness of treatments for people whose lives are affected by drug abuse in communities and neighborhoods nationwide... Madam Speaker, we congratulate the National Institute on Drug Abuse and its Clinical Trials Network on its important accomplishments over the past ten years. Their work has lessened the suffering of many, and as Co-chairs and Vice Co-chairs of the Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus, we look forward to continuing to work with NIDA and even greater achievements of the CTN [in] the years to come."


Index

Research Findings

Program Activities

Extramural Policy and Review Activities

Congressional Affairs

International Activities

Meetings and Conferences

Media and Education Activities

Planned Meetings

Publications

Staff Highlights

Grantee Honors



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