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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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On Tuesday night, PIPC Chairman Tony Coelho joined former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson at the University of Charleston in West Virginia for a speaker series titled "Who Decides Patient Treatments" to discuss the future of health care in the United States. The discussion focused on the roles that the patient, government and insurers play in the health care system, as well as, the extent to which patients should be able to choose treatments in consultation with their physician.
Coelho highlighted the importance of including the patient in the health care decision making process. He stated that when it comes to deciding what course of treatment is best for the patient, doctors and patients should ultimately be the ones making the decision, taking current research and individual needs and preferences into account.
Thompson agreed with Coelho saying that patients with a particular condition are usually well informed about the treatments available to them “most patients, especially breast cancer patients, know what medications work and what medications do not.” What’s important is being able to translate the research information and apply it to an individual patient with a set of unique circumstances.
Both Coelho and Thompson staunchly supported the need for a patient-centered and safe health care system that not only addresses the problems at hand but also considers preventative health care measures. They urged Americans to be more proactive about preventing health problems, which could help to solve a lot of the problems facing our health care system today.