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Therapeutics Research Centers to Be Established Through Federal Cooperative Agreement Funding: Applications Sought

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Press Release Date: February 1, 1999

The U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) today announced it is seeking applications from nonprofit organizations to establish Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERTs) under a 3-year demonstration program. The goal of the program is to develop free-standing continuing centers which conduct research and educate medical practitioners and other decisionmakers. The program is aimed at increasing practitioner and patient awareness of the benefits, risks and effectiveness of new uses, existing uses or combined uses of therapeutics—drugs, biologics and medical devices.

AHCPR expects to award up to $2 million in fiscal year (FY) 1999 to support the centers, which were authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Modernization Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-115). These cooperative agreements will be administered in consultation with FDA.

"Therapeutic products are designed to improve quality of care, but inappropriate use and errors of administration may actually cause harm. Practitioners need more complete information about the drugs and biologics they prescribe and the medical devices they use to make product use more appropriate, prevent errors, and increase cost-effectiveness," said AHCPR's administrator, John M. Eisenberg, M.D.

According to Dr. Eisenberg, the new centers will evaluate and conduct state-of-the-art clinical, laboratory, and health services research. One of the CERTs centers will also be selected to assume responsibilities as the coordinating center for the program.

AHCPR funds are intended to provide basic support for each center. Although research projects may initially be supported by these core funds, centers are ultimately expected to support research with funds obtained from sources other than the CERTs demonstration program. Potential funding sources include other AHCPR grants programs, as well as grant programs of other Federal agencies and of foundations.

Public and private nonprofit organizations, including universities, clinics, state and local government units, nonprofit firms and nonprofit foundations may submit applications. For-profit organizations may participate as members of consortia formed by centers, or as subcontractors to a nonprofit applicant.

Applications must be received by April 22, 1999, and applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent to AHCPR by February 19th.

Select to access the Request for Applications for the Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERTs) in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts at, where the RFA was published on January 27, 1999.

Print copies of the Request for Applications and application forms are available from the AHCPR Publications Clearinghouse, P.O. Box 8547, Silver Spring, MD 20907-8547; phone 800-358-9295.

Editor's Note: AHCPR has released its new Strategic Plan outlining the agency's vision for fostering health care research that helps the American health care system provide access to high quality, cost-effective services; be accountable and responsive to consumers and purchasers; and improve health status and quality of life. To realize this vision, AHCPR will pursue research and promote the translation of research into practice in three critical areas: supporting improvements in health outcomes; strengthening quality measurement and improvement; and identifying strategies to improve access, foster appropriate use of health care, and reduce unnecessary expenditures. AHCPR's Strategic Plan is available online at

For additional information, contact AHCPR Public Affairs: Karen Migdail, (301) 427-1855 (

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