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Publications from the AffiliateMarketIngtools of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes We Treat You (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.


  • Released: February 18, 2014
    Investigations of microbial ecology in a variety of organisms and contexts have begun to illuminate the properties of host-associated microorganisms. These observations have revealed a complex and dynamic network of interactions across the spectrum of host, microbe, and environmental niches that may influence states of health and disease. Alterations in the composition and dynamics of the human microbiome have been associated with a variety of complex diseases — including such chronic conditions as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and inflammatory bowel diseases. This ecologically-informed view is a paradigm shift away from the conventional "one-microbe, one-disease" perspective of infection and may lead to new insights and approaches to health maintenance, disease prevention, and treatment methods in humans, animals, and plants. The IOM Forum on Microbial Threats held a public workshop in , DC, to explore the scientific and therapeutic implications of microbial ecology in health and disease.
  • Released: February 12, 2014
    Genomic data can be used to identify new drug targets for both common and rare diseases, can predict which patients are likely to respond to a specific treatment, and have the potential to significantly reduce the cost of clinical trials. Recently, the realization of such benefits has led to the development and approval of several targeted therapeutics. A key component of each of these new drug approvals is the ability to identify the population of patients who will benefit from treatment, which is largely hinged on the co-development and co-submission to the U.S. FDA of a companion diagnostic test. This process has led to a change in the way drugs are developed with pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies working in close collaboration together. This summary describes an IOM workshop held to examine challenges and potential solutions for the co-development of targeted therapeutics and companion molecular tests for the prediction of drug response.
  • Released: February 03, 2014
    On January 7, 2014, the newly formed Roundtable on Obesity Solutions of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) held its first public event, a half-day workshop titled “The Current State of Obesity Solutions in the United States.” The purpose of the roundtable, which includes representatives from public health, health care, government, the food industry, education, philanthropy, the nonprofit sector, and academia, is to engage leadership from multiple sectors to discuss potential solutions to the obesity crisis. Through meetings, public workshops, background papers, and innovation collaboratives, the roundtable will foster an ongoing dialogue about critical and emerging implementation, policy, and research topics to accelerate progress in obesity prevention and care.
  • Released: January 22, 2014
    Clinical trials are crucial to determining the safety of medical interventions and their ability to achieve particular health outcomes and represent a significant investment from all involved — patients and others who volunteer to participate, organizations that sponsor trials, and the researchers who conduct a study and analyze the data. Clinical trial data represent potential resources that, if shared, could facilitate new analyses and a deeper understanding of a particular therapy or condition. However, much of the data generated by clinical trials is not public or shared beyond the data holder, and significant barriers to sharing these data exist. In follow up to an October 2012 workshop at the IOM, the IOM is conducting a consensus study to recommend guiding principles and a framework for the responsible sharing of clinical trial data. A final report will be released in December 2014. This framework for discussion outlines the committee’s preliminary thoughts on guiding principles that underpin the responsible sharing of clinical trial data, defines key elements of data and data sharing activities, and describes a selected set of data sharing activities. One goal of this framework is to facilitate identification of the numerous complicated issues that the committee might need to take into account in the strategies and practical approaches to sharing of clinical trial data that will be recommended in the committee’s final report.
  • Released: January 17, 2014
    Caffeine is arguably the most ingested pharmacologically active substance in the world and has been a part of many cultures for centuries. But the caffeine-in food landscape is quickly changing. Along with energy drinks and supplements, the array of new caffeine-containing products is rapidly expanding. Historically, scientific research has shown that moderate consumption naturally-occurring caffeine in coffee and tea by healthy adults is not associated with adverse health effects. However, the inclusion of caffeine in products such as soft drinks and other beverages, foods, and supplements raises concerns about safety, whether new products target populations not normally associated with high caffeine consumption – like children and adolescents – and whether caffeine poses a greater health risk to those populations. The IOM held a workshop August 5-6, 2013, to review the available science on safe levels of caffeine consumption in foods, beverages, and dietary supplements and to identify data gaps.
  • Released: December 17, 2013
    Although children represent about 25 percent of the U.S. population, current state and local disaster preparedness plans often do not include specific considerations for children and families. The preparedness and resilience of communities related to children requires a systems framework for disaster preparedness across traditional and non-traditional medical and public health stakeholders. The IOM Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events held a workshop to discuss disaster preparedness, response, and recovery relative to the needs of children and families, including children with special health care needs.
  • Released: November 25, 2013
    Although there is a high burden associated with nervous system disorders, development of new therapeutics remains stagnant. Over the last decade, fewer new drugs for nervous system disorders have garnered approval in comparison to other therapeutic areas. Current data suggest that drug development, from the start of a discovery program to regulatory approval, can take an average of 12 to 15 years. Building off of concepts discussed at a 2012 IOM workshop, the IOM Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders held a workshop to examine opportunities to accelerate early phases of drug development for nervous system drug discovery.
  • Released: November 25, 2013
    The 2012 IOM report Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention identified five environments in which change is needed to accelerate progress in obesity prevention. Each of these settings -physical activity, food and beverage, messaging, health care and worksites, and schools– interact with the others, creating a set of interconnected systems that can be changed only through engagement, leadership, and action among many groups and at many levels. The IOM Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention held a workshop to examine the role of the many factors that contribute to health disparities and to explore ways to create equity.
  • Released: November 08, 2013
    The sequencing of the human genome has greatly accelerated the process of linking specific genetic variants with disease. These findings have yielded an increasing number of molecular diagnostic tests designed to guide disease treatment and management. Many of these tests are aimed at determining the best treatments for certain cancers, making oncology a valuable testing ground for the use of molecular diagnostic tests in medicine in general. However, many questions surround the clinical value of molecular diagnostic tests and their acceptance by clinicians, payers, and patients has been unpredictable. The IOM and Center for Medical Technology Policy held a workshop to discuss evidence needs for informed clinical and health policy decision making regarding molecular diagnostics that are used to guide the treatment and management of patients with cancer.
  • Released: October 30, 2013
    Despite growing awareness of sports-related concussions and campaigns to educate athletes, coaches, physicians, and parents of young athletes about concussion recognition and management, confusion and controversy persist in many areas. The IOM and the National Research Council formed an expert committee to review the science of sports-related concussions in youth from elementary school through young adulthood, as well as in military personnel and their dependents. The report finds that while some studies provide useful information, much remains unknown about the extent of concussions in youth; how to diagnose, manage, and prevent concussions; and the short- and long-term consequences of concussions as well as repetitive head impacts that do not result in concussion symptoms.
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