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April 13, 1994

AIDS Research Coordination Abetted

JAMA. 1994;271(14):1061. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510380009003

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REFORM with "teeth" is getting a grip on federal AIDS research efforts.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of AIDS Research (OAR) now has much more power to coordinate research efforts, thanks to language in last year's NIH Revitalization Act requiring that all of the NIH's $1.3-billion budget for AIDS research go through the OAR for distribution to the various institutes.

The law gives the OAR authority to allocate funds that are not already committed to ongoing projects, about 20% of the AIDS research budget each year, according to priorities set by the OAR with guidance from an advisory council of outside experts. (Actual grants and contracts, however, will still be made by the individual institutes.) It also gives the OAR, like the similary NIH-funded National Cancer Institute, a bypass budget, with requests going directly to the President of the United States instead of through the NIH or other

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