WellPoint Guidelines May Bolster Federal ‘Comparative Effectiveness’ Investments
The health insurer WellPoint has announced guidelines for using comparative effectiveness studies to pit drugs against one another and determine which works best, the Indianapolis Business Journal reports. "Congress has also approved $4.1 billion in the past 15 months to fund comparative-effectiveness studies and a new agency that specializes in them. Now that private insurers like WellPoint are joining in, the United States could see a wave of head-to-head comparisons that have historically been rare in pharmaceuticals."
The report continues, "The goal of both the public and private initiatives is better health care at lower cost. WellPoint will use comparative-effectiveness research to help determine what percentage of the cost of a new drug it will pay for" (Wall, 5/26).