About Publications

Publications from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. This site includes Health and Medicine Division (HMD) publications released after 1998. A complete list of HMD’s publications from its establishment in 1970 to the present is available as a PDF.


  • Physician-Assisted Death: Scanning the Landscape ... Released: June 27, 2018
    As a matter of public opinion and of public policy, a national dialogue is taking place around the question of whether, and under what circumstances, terminally ill patients can access life-ending medications with the aid of a physician. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from a workshop of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The workshop explored what is known and not known empirically about the practice of physician-assisted death, as well as some of the moral and ethical considerations regarding the practice.
  • Financing and Payment Strategies to Support High-Quality ... Released: May 16, 2018
    Those facing serious illness have a range of interconnected medical and non-medical needs, and the way their care is financed has a large impact on the care they receive. Medicare is the predominant payer, but both Medicaid and private payers also play significant roles in financing care for serious illness. In an effort to address the complex needs of people with serious illness, public and private health care payers are testing innovative financing strategies and alternative payment models.
  • Advancing Therapeutic Development for Pain and Opioid Use ... Released: March 23, 2018
    Chronic pain is one of the most prevalent, costly, and disabling health conditions in the United States. In parallel with increasing recognition of the need to treat chronic pain, the opioid epidemic has emerged as a growing public health emergency. In 2017, the National Institutes of Health began exploring public-private partnerships to develop solutions to the opioid crisis and cut in half the time it takes to develop non-addictive analgesics. To help inform this effort, the National Academies’ Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous Systems Disorders hosted a public workshop that brought together experts and stakeholders from academia, federal agencies, advocacy organizations, and companies developing therapeutics for pain and opioid use disorders.
  • Implementing and Evaluating Genomic Screening Programs ... Released: March 16, 2018
    Genomic applications are being integrated into a broad range of clinical and research activities at health care systems across the United States. The genomics-based screening programs are clinical screening programs that examine genes or variants in unselected populations in order to identify individuals who are at an increased risk for a particular health concern (e.g., diseases, adverse drug outcomes) and who might benefit from clinical interventions.
  • Aging and Disability: Beyond Stereotypes to Inclusion ... Released: March 13, 2018
    How do stereotypes affect the health and independence of aging adults and those with disabilities? How do they impact the industries that interact with these populations? And what are some opportunities to disrupt the narrative and change perceptions of what it means to be older or have a disability?
  • Enabling Novel Treatments for Nervous System Disorders by ... Released: March 08, 2018
    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) presents a special challenge to the development of therapeutics for many central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Far from acting simply as a physical barrier, the BBB is a complex dynamic system involving several cell types, passive and active transport mechanisms, and adaptive function to control the exchange of substances between the blood and the CNS. Few therapeutic agents readily traverse the BBB to reach the brain or spinal cord, including most small molecule drugs and the vast majority of large molecules such as proteins.
  • Examining the Impact of Real-World Evidence on Medical ... Released: February 12, 2018
    Randomized, controlled clinical trials (RCTs) have traditionally served as the gold standard for evidence generation in support of medical product development and evaluation. However, it is increasingly recognized that RCTs have inherent limitations, particularly with regard to generalizability, and time and monetary investment. Data from sources supplemental to RCTs, such as safety surveillance, observational studies, registries, claims, or patient-centered outcomes research, would be valuable to support biomedical research, including medical product development and evaluation.
  • Review of NASA's Evidence Reports on Human Health Risks ... Released: January 10, 2018
    The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, at the request of the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) and with guidance from the National Academies’ Standing Committee on Aerospace Medicine and the Medicine of Extreme Environments, established a committee to review NASA’s Evidence Reports on Human Health Risks. These evidence reports focus on human health risks for long-duration and exploration spaceflights.
  • Building a National Capability to Monitor and Assess Medical ... Released: October 31, 2017
    During public health emergencies (PHEs) involving chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear threats or emerging infectious diseases, medical countermeasures (MCMs)—including drugs, vaccines, and devices—may need to be dispensed or administered to affected populations to help mitigate the human health impact of the threat. As part of the United States’ scientific and research preparedness enterprise, there is an imperative to go “beyond the last mile” of MCM dispensing and administration to build and maintain a national capability to monitor and assess the use of MCMs.
  • Preparing for a Rapid Response to Major Marine Oil Spills ... Released: October 27, 2017
    Oil spills have potential health and public health consequences both for responders and affected communities; yet neither the current command structure nor the compensation structure account well for responding to these aspects of spills. To explore opportunities to improve preparedness, response, and recovery from oil spills the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine asked the Health and Medical Division to convene a public workshop titled, Preparing for a Rapid Response to Major Offshore Oil Spills: A Workshop on Research Needs to Protect the Health and Well-Being of Communities.