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Policy

NIH Won’t Merge Addiction Institutes

by Britt E. Erickson
November 26, 2012 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 90, ISSUE 48

NIH will keep its drug abuse and alcohol addiction institutes as two separate entities, Director Francis S. Collins has decided. NIH’s Scientific Management Review Board had recommended merging them into a single institute devoted to substance abuse and addiction research. Collins’ unexpected move, announced on Nov. 16, comes after two years of extensive reviews and meetings with stakeholders. Collins explains that the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism have made progress during the past two years to work more collaboratively with each other and with NIH’s other institutes and centers. NIH will work to enhance those efforts, rather than combining the two institutes. “I have concluded that it is more appropriate for NIH to pursue functional integration, rather than major structural reorganization,” Collins says. “The time, energy, and resources required for a major structural reorganization are not warranted, especially given that functional integration promises to achieve equivalent scientific and public health objectives.”

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