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An NIH study of treatments for high blood pressure, called the ALLHAT trial, shows some of the strengths and limitations of comparative effectiveness research to improve patient care. More...
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Last night, the president spoke to a joint session of Congress and the American people about health care reform.
During his remarks, he said that both the “left” and the “right” have ideas on how to improve our nation's health system. And he was right to say that we must come together to find common ground.
One thing that most Americans can agree on is that medical decisions should be made by a patient and his doctor and be based on the best medical science available. That's also what PIPC believes.
One issue where we think there's a lot of common ground is comparative effectiveness research, which studies different medical procedures, treatments, and delivery systems to learn what works in health care. Like many others, we support research on health outcomes to empower patients and providers with good information to make health care decisions, and not to dictate those decisions to them. In addition, it is important for CER to recognize differences in patients' needs due to genetic, racial and ethnic, and clinical differences, and to reduce health disparities.
Health care reform should build on this consensus view when it comes to the funding and new implementation of CER. Specific legislation now in front of the Congress does just that, namely Rep. Schrader's H.R. 2502 and Sens. Baucus and Conrad's S. 1213. A bipartisan amendment (sponsored by Del. Christensen and Reps. Inslee, Upton and Walden) that takes this approach now is pending before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The approach to CER reflected in this amendment and in S.1213/H.R. 2502 has been endorsed by over 100 organizations from across the health care spectrum, including consumer groups like AARP, and wide range of provider and patient advocates, groups representing people with disabilities, and health insurance companies.
If all these groups can come together behind a bipartisan approach to CER, then surely Congress can too. PIPC agrees on the importance of reforming our health care system, and we are calling on lawmakers in the House to build on the common ground in CER and adopt the Christensen-Inslee-Upton-Walden amendment.