Bulletin Board

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New Branch Chief Oversees Health Services Research

Dr. Bennett FletcherDr. Bennett Fletcher

Dr. Bennett Fletcher has been named chief of the Services Research Branch (SRB) within NIDA's Division of Clinical and Services Research. As SRB chief, he directs NIDA's program of health services research on drug abuse treatment, including the impact of financing, organization, and management on treatment quality, cost, and outcomes.

Dr. Fletcher is a principal investigator in NIDA's Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Study (DATOS), a nationwide study of drug abuse treatment outcomes. He also has supported programs of research on treating those in the criminal justice system, and on treating vulnerable populations, including adolescents, women, and those at risk for HIV infection.

Newest NIDA Monograph Discusses Clinical Trials for Cocaine Medications

NIDA has published a new NIDA Research Monograph titled Medication Development for the Treatment of Cocaine Dependence: Issues in Clinical Efficacy. The papers in the monograph were first presented at a NIDA technical review meeting at which scientists discussed the difficulties in evaluating the results from different clinical trials of potential cocaine treatment medications. These difficulties have arisen because of a lack of standardization in the research methodology.

The monograph is intended as a guidebook for researchers interested in conducting clinical trials of these medications. The papers in the monograph include an overview of the rationale for the development of these medications and a comprehensive review of the compounds that have been tested. Also included are discussions of methodological issues involved in conducting clinical trials of treatment medications for cocaine dependence, such as identifying meaningful outcome measures and clinically relevant success criteria. Several papers examine the use of urinanalysis of cocaine metabolite levels to monitor treatment effectiveness.

The monograph, which is number 175 in the series of NIDA Research Monographs, was edited by Dr. Betty Tai, Dr. Nora Chiang, and Dr. Peter Bridge of NIDA's Medications Development Division.