Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Text of IOM Statement on Efforts at Soliciting Comment on CIRM

Here is the text of the questions submitted Feb. 12 by the California Stem Cell Report to the Institute of Medicine concerning its attempts to secure comments on the operation of the $3 billion California stem cell agency along with the IOM response.

The response from Christine Stencel, a spokeswoman for the IOM, follows these questions from the California Stem Cell Report.
"I will be writing a piece on Wednesday dealing with the online surveys that IOM has posted. For that piece, please tell me very, very  specifically what the IOM is doing to generate responses. For example, is the IOM buying ads in newspapers or online, asking the public to fill out the forms? Is it hiring a polling firm to call households for responses?  Also please tell me exactly what is being done to generate responses on all the other surveys that have been posted.

"Additionally, please tell me how many responses that the IOM has received so far in each category on the survey forms for CIRM grantees, industry partners and leadership. Thank you."
The IOM response on Feb. 15:
"The IOM has been obtaining and compiling lists of organizations and people to circulate the questionnaires as widely as possible among target groups. For example, IOM has sent a notice to some 300 stakeholder groups encouraging participation. We do not have the resources to hire a polling firm or place ads.

"The purpose of these questionnaires is to extend the committee's information gathering beyond in-person meetings and the standard listing of an email address or phone number for the study on the project website. Not all people who might have useful experiences or perspectives on CIRM may be able to attend the in-person meetings and not all may visit the project website and find the study contact information. This is a proactive effort to reach more people.

"Anyone who knows of individuals or organizations with information on CIRM that would be useful for the committee's knowledge can share the links to the questionnaires with them. This will help spread the word and get the committee insights they need.

"I don't have information on the number of responses so far. Ultimately, as noted at the top of each survey, the responses will be aggregated and de-identified and placed in the public access file in addition to being shared with the committee.

"I trust this will be useful for your readers."
The California Stem Cell Report then asked the following questions on Feb. 15.
"Thank you for your response. A few follow-up questions:
Regarding the 300 stakeholder groups, how are those defined? Please give me a few examples.

"Based on your response, is it correct to say that the IOM is not sending out questionnaires directly to all CIRM grant applicants, including those who were rejected?

"Is it correct to say that no special effort -- other than that described in your response -- is being made to seek responses from stem cell businesses?

"The failure to provide numbers on the responses so far would indicate that the numbers are so small that the IOM is choosing not to disclose them. If that is not the case, please email me the numbers. Thank you."
The IOM had not responded to the follow-up questions as of this writing on Feb. 21.

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