Release Date:  April 24, 1998


National Institutes of Health

Over the past few years, many in the biomedical research community have
expressed the view that there are ever-increasing barriers to obtaining
important basic tools that enable scientists to carry out state-of-the-art
research.  These so-called "research tools" include materials, information and
methods.  As the public health agency charged with support of basic biomedical
research, NIH wants to ensure that the momentum of scientific research and
discoveries in the biomedical fields remains strong and unencumbered so that
innovations and advances may be developed to benefit the public.

The Director, NIH, Dr. Harold Varmus, has appointed a special Working Group of
the Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) headed by Professor Rebecca
Eisenberg of the University of Michigan, to study this matter and generate a
report to be considered and acted upon by the ACD.  In support of the Working
Group, we have established a Web Site to invite scientists and others with an
interest in this issue to participate in the process. Comments to the Web Site
will be useful to the Working Group which makes a report in early June. 
Comments can either be posted for all to review or they can be sent directly
to the Working Group and will not be posted in the public discussion. 

The Web Site is located at">

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