Twenty individuals have been invited by Harold Varmus, M.D., NIH Director, to be a part
of the initial COPR, which was chartered November 4, 1998.*
Those selected for COPR membership have a wide variety of backgrounds. Each has some interest in the work of the NIH, for example, as a patient or family member of a patient; a health care professional; a member of a patient advocacy group; an individual who works as a volunteer in the health field; a scientist or a
student of science; a communicator in health, medicine, or science; an individual in public service,
academia, or a professional society touching the medical field. Those invited to be members of the
initial COPR form a diverse group. The group has multi-cultural diversity, includes men and
women, covers a broad span of disease interests, embraces many who work with and understand
the problems of the medically underserved, and has geographic diversity (individuals who are from
rural and urban areas, from across the U. S.).
The COPR is a forum for discussing issues affecting the broad development of NIH policy,
programs, and research goals, and advises the NIH Director on these matters. The Council also
advises and assists the NIH in enhancing participation by the public in NIH activities, increasing
public understanding of the NIH, and bringing important matters of public interest forward for
discussion in public settings. The COPR will meet approximately two times a year.
The COPR meeting is open to the public, subject to space available. There will be
overflow accommodations for watching a video feed in Conference Room 6C, just down the hall
from the meeting room. In addition, the session will be broadcast on the Internet for public
viewing. Viewers should go to http://videocast.nih.gov.
Some topics for the first meeting include: models of public participation in NIH activities,
access to clinical trials, health disparities among various populations, and the clinical trials database
required by the FDA Modernization Act of 1997. A final agenda will be available soon and can
be found at http://www.nih.gov/welcome/publicliaison/get-involved/copr/042199/agenda.html.
Provided: Q and A on the Council of Public Representatives.
* The names of the individuals will be released shortly, along with descriptions of the their backgrounds, as
soon as all those invited have completed all the necessary forms to become official advisory committee