The US Deprescribing Research Network (USDeN)
Benzodiazepine receptor agonists, which include classic benzodiazepines as well as the “Z-drugs” such as zolpidem, are a major source of problematic prescribing for older adults and confer substantial harms. Approaches using complementary and integrative health approaches to support deprescribing these medications show promise, yet studies in this area are for the most part small and of limited methodologic quality. There is a need for high-quality controlled clinical trials of complementary and integrative health (CIH) approaches to determine their effectiveness for helping older adults reduce use of these medications.
The US Deprescribing Research Network (USDeN) has applied for a directed funding opportunity from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (see https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-AT-22-012.html) to solicit, select, and fund large pilot studies in this topic area that can, upon completion, lead directly to large and definitive clinical trials. While USDeN’s application has not yet been approved, it is highly likely that it will be funded, with a likely start date in August 2022. After this date, there will be a short timeline for research groups to apply for pilot funds through this mechanism. The USDeN thus strongly encourages people who may be interested in applying for pilot funds to begin developing their ideas and research team during this spring and early summer.
The USDeN anticipates funding approximately 4 one-year pilot studies, each with a budget of up to approximately $160,000 (combined directs and indirects). These studies should pilot test interventions that use complementary and integrative health modalities to support deprescribing of benzodiazepine receptor agonists (i.e. benzodiazepines and/or “Z drugs”) in older adults.
The anticipated timeline for this opportunity is as follows: August 2022– release of official Request for Applications for the pilot award program; Early fall 2022 – informational webinar and due date for letters of intent; Mid-fall 2022: applications due; Late fall / early winter 2022 – applications selected and funded; projects begin.
Investigators who might be interested in applying - or simply learning more - should contact the US Deprescribing Research Network at firstname.lastname@example.org.