In 2013, the Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) formally retired the Consensus Development Program (CDP). From its formation in 1977, the CDP produced unbiased, evidence-based assessments of controversial medical issues important to researchers, healthcare providers, policymakers, patients, and the general public. The CDP resulted in over 160 consensus statements interpreting the available evidence and has identified research gaps to guide future research. The consensus statements have been used by numerous professional organizations to develop guidelines for clinical practice. In addition, the NIH CDP has served as a model for consensus conference programs developed in many other countries.
The CDP was created during a time when few other organizations were providing evidence reviews. Today, there are many other organizations that conduct such reviews, including other federal agencies, academic institutions, and private organizations. Examples include the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the Community Preventive Services Task Force, the National Academies, and The Cochrane Collaboration. The CDP has served a very useful role, but one that is now served by other able parties.
Based on lessons learned from the CDP model, ODP has developed another evidence-based program called Pathways to Prevention, which identifies research gaps in scientific areas of broad public health importance. The Office also continues to focus on its mission to improve the public health by increasing the scope, quality, dissemination, and impact of prevention research supported by the NIH. To learn more about ODP’s priorities and other activities, visit the Strategic Plan page.
If you have questions about the Consensus Development Program, email ODP at