, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 776-778,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 01 May 2009

Comparative Effectiveness Research: Medical Practice, Payments, and Politics: the Need to Retain Standards of Medical Research

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Comparative effectiveness research (CER), once only the scientific interest of clinical and health services researchers who compared medical treaments, now has tumbled into the public arena. (1) Facing the need for drastic improvement in our nation’s healthcare delivery, Congress and the Obama Administration are looking to CER to improve and broaden the use of treatments in a cost-effective way. Researchers, clinicians, professional societies, and policy experts have welcomed this, as they see CER as a scientifically rigorous way to select the most effective treatments for the benefit of patients and the public. On the other hand, while there has been support in the healthcare industry, apprehension has surfaced among those whose products would be subject to evaluation of effectivness, including pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device companies, and among those who pay for treatments, including health plans, insurers, and large employers. Such concerns have translated into intense