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NIH clinical center should be replaced, federal panel says


A federal review board has recommended that a new state-of-the-art clinical center be built for the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. The recommendation was released yesterday by Donna E. Shalala, secretary of U.S. Health and Human Services, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Baltimore.

The panel suggested sweeping changes to meet future demands at the clinical center, which cares for patients in research studies and trains clinical investigators.

Built in the 1950s, the center is physically deteriorating and barely able to keep up with modern practice, the panel found.

At the same time, it faces rising costs and a declining number of patients.

Ms. Shalala estimates the new center would cost $300 million.

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