Priorities Set for Comparative Effectiveness Research

Best ways to spend $400 million research budget identified
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- The extent to which large-scale public investment in comparative effectiveness research can achieve its goals of better decision making and improved uptake of new knowledge depends on engaging the medical profession and patients, according to recommendations by the Institute of Medicine published online June 30 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The Institute of Medicine Committee on Comparative Effectiveness Research sought views from 1,758 individual stakeholders in order to provide medical professionals, the public, Congress and the government with independent guidelines on how to best allocate the $400 million budget for comparative effectiveness research.

The committee identified 100 high-priority topics and its recommendations aim to create a national comparative effectiveness research initiative that is sustainable, trustworthy, and capable of improving the country's health care system, according to Harold A. Sox, M.D., co-chair of the committee.

"Because the committee's work was requested by Congress and the resulting portfolio is so broad in scope, the recommendations may be more influential than they might otherwise have been," according to John K. Iglehart, in a NEJM perspective. Another perspective was offered by Patrick H. Conway, M.D., and Carolyn Clancy, M.D., both from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C., who write that, "this unique opportunity to invest in a major component of the scientific infrastructure for improving health care delivery will be indispensable for achieving a health care system that delivers affordable, high-quality care for all Americans."

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Editorial - Luce
Editorial - Iglehart
Editorial - Conway & Clancy
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