Department of Health and Human Services
National Institutes of Health
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Minutes of the 67th Meeting of the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse
September 16-17, 1997
The National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse convened its 67th meeting at 9:00
a.m. on September 16, 1997 in Conference Room 10, Building 31C, National Institutes
of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD. Dr. Alan I. Leshner, Director, NIDA,
chaired the meeting. The meeting on September 16 was for the purpose of reviewing
applications for federal grant assistance and was open only to Council members
and federal employees. The meeting reconvened on September 17, 1997 at 9:00 a.m.
and was open to the public. The Council adjourned at 11:50 a.m.
Council Members Present:
Lawrence S. Brown, Jr., M.D.
R. Lorraine Collins, Ph.D. (September 16 only)
Marian W. Fischman, Ph.D.
Morton E. Goldberg, D.Sc.
Reese T. Jones, M.D.
Nancy J. Kaufman, R.N., M.S.
G. Alan Marlatt, Ph.D.
Clyde B. McCoy, Ph.D.
Thomas A. McLellan, Ph.D.
June E. Osborn, M.D. (September 17 only)
Rafaela R. Robles, Ed.D.
Kathy Sanders-Phillips, Ph.D.
Linda S. Slattery (September 16 only)
Catherine A. Stevens, J.D.
Lei Yu, Ph.D.
Col. Terry K. Schultz, M.D. (ex officio)
Richard Suchinsky, M.D. (ex officio)
Council Members Absent:
Susan G. Amara, Ph.D.
Thomas A. Hedrick, Jr.
George F. Koob, Ph.D.
Council Chairs Present:
Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.
Richard A. Millstein
Teresa Levitin, Ph.D.
Federal Employees Present:
National Institute on Drug Abuse
| Khursheed Asghar, Ph.D.
Robert Battjes, D.S.W.
Lula Beatty, Ph.D.
Jack Blaine, M.D.
Roger Brown, Ph.D.
William Cartwright, Ph.D.
James Colliver, Ph.D.
Leslie Cooper, Ph.D.
Raquel Crider, Ph.D.
Mary Custer, Ph.D.
James Dingell, Ph.D.
Lynda Erinoff, Ph.D.
Bennett Fletcher, Ph.D.
Jerry Frankenheim, Ph.D.
Joseph Frascella, Ph.D.
Sander Genser, M.D.
Meyer Glantz, Ph.D.
William C. Grace, Ph.D.
Paul Hillery, Ph.D.
Arthur Hughes, M.S.
Syed Husain, Ph.D.
|| Coryl Jones, Ph.D.
Jagjitsing Khalsa, Ph.D.
Andrea Kopstein, M.P.H.
Theresa Lee, Ph.D.
Geraline Lin, Ph.D.
Rita Liu, Ph.D.
Kesinee Nimit, M.D.
Nancy Pilotte, Ph.D.
Jonathan Pollock, Ph.D.
Rao Rapaka, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Robertson, Ph.D.
Larry Seitz, Ph.D.
David Shurtleff, Ph.D.
Hari Singh, Ph.D.
Karen Skinner, Ph.D.
Zili Sloboda, Sc.D.
Mark Swieter, Ph.D.
David Thomas, Ph.D.
Frank Vocci, Ph.D.
Naimah Weinberg, M.D.
Stephen Zukin, M.D.
Other Federal Employees:
Bobbi Bennett - Office of Communications, OD, NIH
Robert Moore - Office of Extramural Research, OD,NIH
Susan Persons - Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, OD, NIH
Phillip Wiethorn - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Members of the Public Present:
Virginia Anthony - American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Sarah Brookhart - American Psychological Society
Jan Brose - Capital Consulting Corporation
Marie Dyak - EIC
S. Iyengar - The Blue Sheet
Robert Mathias - R.O.W. Sciences
Geoff Mumford - American Psychological Association
Christine Sannerud - Drug Enforcement Administration
Angela Sharpe - COSSA
Linda R. Wolf-Jones - Therapeutic Communities of America
Closed Portion of the Meeting - September 16, 1997
- Call to Order
This portion of the meeting was closed to the public in accordance with Sections
552b(c) (4) and 552b(c) (6), Title 5, U.S. Code and Section 10(d) of the Federal
Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2).
Dr. Alan I. Leshner, Director, NIDA, called the meeting to order and provided
an overview of the agenda for the meeting. A summary of voting policies and procedures,
detailed instructions on Council review procedures, and reminders about NIH confidentiality
and conflict of interest policies were provided.
- Application Reviews
The Council divided into two subcouncil committees for the purpose of expediting
application reviews and allowing for in-depth discussion as needed. Applications
from the Division of Basic Research and the Medications Development Division were
reviewed by a subcouncil committee chaired by Khursheed Asghar, Ph.D. Applications
from the Division of Clinical and Services Research, the Division of Epidemiology
and Prevention Research, and the Office of Science Policy and Communications were
reviewed by a subcouncil committee chaired by William C. Grace, Ph.D. Each subcouncil
committee reviewed applications and made recommendations for concurrence with
the initial Scientific Review Group. These recommendations were carried back to
the full Council for approval.
Members absented themselves from subcouncil and full Council meetings during
discussion of, and voting on, applications from their own institutions or other
applications in which there was a conflict of interest, real or apparent. Conflict
of interest statements were signed by each member. Members were not required to
leave if an application in conflict with that member was acted upon en bloc.
For this Council, 503 applications, requesting $440,962,000 in Total Years
Direct Costs, went to review. Of these, 307 were scored by the Scientific Review
Groups, representing $63,723,589 in First Year Direct Costs and $267,209,453 in
Total Years Direct Costs. The full Council approved each subcouncil's recommendations.
Five new MERIT applications were approved. Council approval for administrative
supplements to eight grants was also sought and received.
Open Portion of the Meeting - September 17, 1997
- Call to Order
Dr. Alan I. Leshner called the open portion of the meeting to order and welcomed
the Council members, NIDA staff, and visitors. He reminded the Council and audience
that the meeting was open to the public in compliance with the Government in the
Sunshine Act and indicated that time would be provided for public comment. He
also informed those present that Council minutes are now available on NIDA's home
- Consideration of the Minutes of the 67th Council
The Minutes of the May 13 -14, 1997 meeting were approved as written.
- Future Meeting Dates
Future meeting dates for Council were announced as follows:
February 3 - 4, 1998
May 19 - 20, 1998
September 15 - 16, 1998
February 2 - 3, 1999
May 25 - 26, 1999
September 14 - 15, 1999
- Report of the Director
Dr. Leshner asked the Council to note that details regarding information dissemination
activities, such as town meetings and the upcoming National Conference on Heroin
Use and Addiction, were available in the members' individual folders but would
not be covered in the Director's report. A number of new hires, promotions, and
the upcoming retirement of Dr. James Dingell were announced. The recent retirement
of Mr. Gary Palsgrove was also noted. A final general announcement was made that
an NIH Bioengineering Symposium would be held at the conference center February
27 - 28, 1998.
Dr. Leshner reiterated NIDA's obligation to conduct outstanding science, and
he noted that recognition of NIDA's commitment to science is translated into continuing
support in the budget process. For FY 1997, NIDA was appropriated a 6.7% increase.
The FY 1998 President's budget request would provide a 6.7% increase again, while
the House and Senate versions provide for a somewhat greater increase. As the
proposed average increase is 6% for NIH overall, the President's budget of $521.915
million represents more than the NIH average support. One feature in the FY 1998
proposals is a redistribution of AIDS and non-AIDS funds. NIDA is seeing an increase
in both its AIDS and non-AIDS budgets. AIDS money is being redistributed to bring
more NIH components more fully into the AIDS arena.
For FY 1997, NIDA actually received a 9% budget increase due to a transfer
of $2 million from the NIH Director's Discretionary Fund and a transfer of $9.5
million in asset forfeiture funds from the Office of National Drug Control Policy
(ONDCP). In FY 1997, NIDA anticipates a success rate of 24%, or 296 new and competing
continuation applications. Under the FY 98 proposals from the President, House
and Senate, that rate would be between 26 and 27%, depending on which budget is
A question was asked about the redistribution of AIDS dollars. Dr. Leshner
clarified that the intended effect is to increase AIDS research in different institutes,
and the redistribution should increase NIDA's collaborative efforts in new endeavors.
A question was asked about whether or not the ONDCP money was likely to continue
to be provided and NIDA's priorities for its use. Council was informed that the
money was provided for one time and was earmarked for development of cocaine medications.
Council was reminded that new review criteria go into effect with the October
1 receipt date. The expectation is that the new criteria will improve reviewers'
focus on the importance and innovativeness of the proposed work. A second review
activity for Council's attention is that the Division of Research Grants, which
has been renamed the Center for Scientific Review (CSR), is restructuring its
internal organization and its study sections. Dr. Leshner noted that he expects
the combined effects of new review criteria and of structural changes at CSR to
improve the quality of reviews at NIH.
Another activity of note is the continuing integration of applications into
the CSR review structure. The latest iteration of plans for neuroscience applications
is available on the web, and additional institutes have asked to join the process
of neuroscience integration. Three other integration activities have also begun.
The basic behavioral science portfolio's integration is moving ahead, and the
integration of AIDS expedited review applications has begun. The third integration
is that of the NIDA human development proposals, of which there are relatively
few, and these will be integrated into an appropriate CSR study section. Dr. Leshner
summarized by saying that the integration is being done with great care, with
much discussion with the external community, and with a large amount of staff
effort to ensure that the end result is the identification of the best science.
Council inquired about plans for review of health services research applications.
In response, Dr. Leshner indicated that the "line" of what will be reviewed in
each institute and what will be reviewed in CSR is not set, but health services
research, prevention, epidemiology, and behavioral treatment are not actively
being integrated at this time and will continue to be reviewed at NIDA, at least
for a while. He also noted that NIDA has created a "human resource" study section
to handle K awards, fellowships, and training grants.
Shaping the Research Agenda
Although it continues to be a goal of NIDA to reduce the number of Requests
for Applications (RFAs), an RFA has been reissued for the Strategic Program for
Innovative Research on Cocaine (and Other Psychomotor Stimulants) Addiction Pharmacotherapy
(SPIRCAP). SPIRCAP's intent is to foster translational research between basic
researchers and clinical researchers. The B-start (Behavioral Science Track Awards
for Rapid Transition) program continues. An NIH-wide RFA on gender-related differences
in pain and analgesic response has been issued, and NIDA is a participating institute.
Finally, NIDA issued an RFA on the Organization and Management of Drug Abuse Treatment
Services, an area where more work is needed.
Dr. Leshner noted that all program announcements are being reviewed, and less
central ones will be deleted. He will also ask Council to become more involved
in assessing the existing pool of program announcements and to provide input on
future program announcements and RFAs. The intent of these changes is to clarify
to the field which announcements are of most importance to NIDA's mission.
A number of meetings have been held, and they continue to be of high quality.
Members were referred to the list of meetings provided in the bound copy of the
Director's Report for details. Similarly, members were referred to that report
for information on upcoming meetings.
The NIDA Office on AIDS has created a supplement program that has been successful
in increasing the number of investigators working in AIDS. This was done by supplementing
non-AIDS grants to add an AIDS component. Other initiatives continue to be maintained.
Treatment of drug abuse, methamphetamine abuse, and prevention continue to
be areas of much activity and progress. Children and adolescents continue to be
addressed in prevention activities, but greater emphasis on understanding developmental
issues and their relationship with drug abuse is needed.
A very successful town meeting was held in May in Chicago. It began with a
meeting in a high school in Congressman Porter's district that was attended by
students, parents, educators, local officials, and the Congressman. It proved
to be a useful opportunity to hear from parents and youth and to inform them about
science. The next day, over 400 people attended the town meeting jointly sponsored
by the Lieutenant Governor, the Illinois Drug Abuse Authority, and a local coalition.
A town meeting will be held October 20 in Philadelphia, and plans are made to
go to Detroit and to Salt Lake City.
The Council members have been provided with examples of publications for lay
and scientific audiences, and the expanded work of the Public Information Branch
in preparing and releasing these publications was noted.
A comment from Council was made that other scientific bodies have begun to
use NIDA's phraseology about the "disconnect" between scientific findings
and their understanding and utilization. This was praised as an example of the
impact NIDA's emphasis on scientific discovery and dissemination is having.
- Treatment Research Initiative - Dr. G. Alan Marlatt
Dr. Marlatt reviewed the history and purposes of the treatment initiative and
reported on activities of the treatment subcommittee. He placed the activities
of the subcommittee in a broad context by reviewing related activities and meetings.
Developmental issues and comorbidity are receiving increased focus. NIDA's activities
around Stage Three treatment development have been fostered by a meeting that
united treatment researchers, providers, and managed care administrators to discuss
dissemination and research approaches. There was consideration given to less emphasis
on large community trials and to more emphasis on smaller treatment studies that
address improving treatment, as well as training and studying providers.
Another meeting brought together researchers in HIV risk behaviors to develop
cognitive measures for both adolescents and adults. A workshop is planned to foster
interactions between drug abuse clinical scientists and behavioral scientists
to inform those who are not familiar with drug abuse how their work may contribute
to the field. Plans are being made to foster dissertations on treatment studies,
increased ties with health services researchers are being fostered, and a kick-off
conference is being planned for April. This conference will be a highly visible
effort to document treatment effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and role in health
Dr. Leshner thanked Dr. Marlatt for his report and praised the high level of
involvement of Council members in these activities.
- Status Report on Drug Supply - Dr. Reese Jones
Dr. Jones reported on Council activities surrounding procedures and guidelines
for the provision of marijuana for scientific and other purposes. NIDA has a contract
to grow marijuana for scientific and medical use, and there is a second contract
to prepare cigarettes from this marijuana. Given recent increases in interest
in marijuana as a potential therapeutic agent, Council was interested in evaluating
NIDA's role in these activities, and a Council subcommittee prepared a draft report
that was provided to all members. The first issue addressed in the report was
whether or not NIDA should continue to play a role in the growing of and access
to marijuana, and the subcommittee recommended that NIDA continue to be the primary
agency for this role. The second issue was how review of requests for marijuana
should be handled. The subcommittee recommended that NIDA not be the primary agency
for reviewing requests. Rather, requests for marijuana should be reviewed by a
cross-institute, NIH body with extramural representation. Council noted that procedures
may need to differ for requests that have undergone NIH peer-review and for those
that have undergone other types of review. Regardless of the source of the request,
scientific merit was seen as the primary consideration that should guide a decision
about access to marijuana. A third major issue was who should pay for the marijuana
and costs associated with its provision. The subcommittee recommended that investigators
who receive the marijuana be charged for it. Finally, the subcommittee report
addressed "peripheral considerations" such as the Drug Enforcement Agency's
use of the marijuana supply and compounds related to marijuana.
Council asked if there are other compounds apart from marijuana and cannabinoids
that NIDA controls in a similar manner. Dr. Leshner indicated that there are many
such compounds, and that most requests for them are for "core drug abuse
research." The issue with marijuana, and it would apply to other compounds,
is NIDA's use of funds appropriated for drug abuse research to supply material
for other uses. Dr. Jones added that, indeed, the subcommittee's intent was that
its recommendations apply to other compounds that might be requested in addition
to marijuana and marijuana related materials. Members made additional comments
on the need for good information on the pharmacologic properties of marijuana
and cannabinoids and on a need to work out details on payment for compounds. Dr.
Leshner asked that written comments be provided to Dr. Reese for incorporation
into the subcommittee's final report.
- Report of the Blue Ribbon Panel to Review the NIDA Division of Intramural
Research - Dr. Lei Yu
Dr. Yu introduced the purpose of the NIDA Intramural Research Program Advisory
Committee, or "Blue Ribbon Panel," as being to review the overall structure
and functioning of the NIDA intramural research program and to identify its strengths
and weaknesses. The panel focused on structural issues. Three meetings were held,
and a consensus developed early in the panel's deliberations that improvements
could be effected. The report of this panel was provided to Council members.
Some of the changes recommended result from factors common to all NIH intramural
research programs, and some result from factors unique to NIDA. The report addressed
five areas: communications, scientific leadership, the structure of branches and
sections, the development of young investigators, and peer review. An additional
two areas meriting special consideration were also highlighted: (1) training and
mentoring of young scientists and (2) clinical issues. A final section dealt with
administrative issues. Dr. Yu briefly reviewed the panel's conclusions in each
of these areas, noted that some recommendations had already been addressed by
staff and administrative changes, and that, overall, the panel thought that the
intramural program had tremendous potential despite a need to address some problems.
Council members praised the panel's work and noted that explicit benchmarks
for carrying out and evaluating progress toward completing the panel's recommendations
would be useful. Also, reports back to Council on progress toward these benchmarks
would be useful. Council asked for more clarification on the role of the intramural
program in NIDA's overall activities, and the unique contributions of the intramural
program were delineated. Council noted that the panel's perspective is an academic
one and that there are other, private sector, approaches to some of the issues
raised. For example, pharmaceutical companies have procedures for mentoring and
making decisions about support, and such perspectives might be considered. The
latter part of Council's discussion focused primarily on the problems associated
with insularity of a research program, the need to enhance communication both
within the program and among other research sites, and methods of enhancing both
the clinical and basic research activities. Dr. Leshner noted that the issues
raised in the panel's report and in the Council's discussion would require follow-up
over time and should be a continuing focus of the Council. He also noted that
a trip to the intramural program was available to members at the close of the
- Public Comments
Ms. Sarah Brookhart of the American Psychological Society (APS) spoke to congratulate
NIDA and Dr. Leshner on their support for behavioral research. She noted that
the APS is hosting a meeting in May to address the future of scientific psychology.
She also spoke on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development to emphasize
the role of developmental issues in drug abuse and to thank NIDA for continuing
to stress the importance of developmental perspectives.
Mr. Chuck Thomas from the Marijuana Policy Project questioned NIDA's interpretations
and presentations of data on THC's effects and the impacts of marijuana on health.
He addressed his perceptions of a bias of representation of perspectives and organizations
on the Council, and he presented recommendations to NIDA to maintain scientific
balance and objectivity. Dr. Leshner thanked Mr. Thomas for his comments and clarified
that no Council member sits as a representative of any organization; rather, each
member represents himself or herself.
Dr. Leshner adjourned the 67th meeting of the National Advisory Council on
Drug Abuse at 11:50 a.m.
I hereby certify that the foregoing minutes are accurate and complete.
|Alan L. Leshner, Ph.D.
National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse
|Teresa Levitin, Ph.D.
National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse
Note: Informational materials provided to the public at the open session of
the meeting may be obtained from the Executive Secretary.