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NIH plan for 'Translational Center' draws some fire

A New York Times article on a plan by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to create a new National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) characterized the unit as a drug development center designed "to help create medicines." That characterization caused such a negative reaction from the academic community (already nervous about the reorganization) and from policy-making communities that NIH created a special feature on its website to detail "Fact & Fiction" and Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius submitted letters to key House and Senate chairmen explaining the goal and vision behind NCATS.  The NIH website states that the NCATS is "not intended to be a drug company" and that there is no plan to "cannibalize" budgets of other institutes.

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