of Medicine has
joined a national
network sponsored by the National
Institutes of Health (NIH). The
consortium is one of only nine such
groups in the United States.
The Washington University
Heart Failure Network includes
Washington University School of
Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital,
Saint Louis University, the St. Louis
Veterans Affairs Medical Center,
Barnes-Jewish West County
Hospital and the University of
With a $3.5 million, seven-year
grant from the National Heart, Lung,
and Blood Institute, the network is
responsible for coordinating clinical
trials to investigate innovative
treatments for heart failure within
its own region and the eight other
Douglas Mann, MD, chief of the
cardiovascular division at Washington
University, emphasizes that one
advantage of the network is its ability
to conduct trials that would not
necessarily be funded by industry.
Most pharmaceutical companies
support trials intended to gain
approval for new therapies from the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“No company would fund
trials to tell you what doses
to give or how to use offpatent
medicines,” Mann says.
“But these are questions
clinicians face every day.
We’re now able to do these
studies using inexpensive
drugs that may change the
way we practice medicine.”