The NIH today announced that they are creating two groups to address public safety concerns about the P4 biolab being built at Boston University. The first group is an “internal Coordinating Committee. ” The second is an external “Blue Ribbon Panel” with 16 members (all physicians and/or scientists) – including Peggy Hamburg, MD, MPH – who I first met when we both worked on AIDS issues at the NIH. (Click here to see NIH press release with full list of Blue Ribbon Panel members.)
While creating these groups now seems reasonable, as I pointed out in my previous post, much of this effort and controversy could have been avoided if a greater investment had been made in developing relationships and buy-in from community stakeholder groups when the concept for the project was initiated. Now, more and more money and time are being spent on the legitimate concerns that could have been managed years ago. Unfortunately when the topic of healthcare waste is discussed or analyzed, these types of situations are rarely included.