Comparative Effectiveness Research Prioritization

Type: Consensus Study
Topics: Biomedical and Health Research, Health Services, Coverage, and Access, Quality and Patient Safety
Board: Board on Health Care Services

Activity Description

The medical field is founded upon an inherent trust placed by patients in their doctors and those doctors’ advice about treatment and care. Yet often, physicians and patients must make decisions in the absence of complete information because the evidence is lacking for the effectiveness of one approach compared to another. Comparative effectiveness research offers the opportunity to address these challenges by demonstrating the effectiveness of one strategy over another for a certain condition, resulting in the ability of doctors and patients to make smart health decisions founded in sound scientific evidence. One of the fundamental aims of comparative effectiveness research is to help doctors avoid ineffective or more costly approaches that might not work or, worse, allow a patient’s condition to deteriorate by delaying more effective treatment.

In March 2009, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) undertook a study, requested by Congress in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, to determine national priorities for comparative effectiveness research. The study was informed by and extended the views of stakeholders and the recent and ongoing IOM work relevant to comparative effectiveness research such as that on the national capacity to identify what works in health care, standards for systematic reviews of evidence, and standards for developing trustworthy clinical practice guidelines.

The Committee on Comparative Effectiveness Research Prioritization issued its final report June 30, 2009.

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