Campaign Launched To Ensure Patients Receive Necessary Care Despite Comparative Effectiveness Research
The Partnership to Improve Patient Care on Thursday unveiled a new campaign hoping to influence the debate over comparative effectiveness research, the AP/Kansas City Star reports.
The economic stimulus package includes $1.1 billion for comparative effectiveness research. According to the Obama administration, the goal of the research is to develop good information to ensure the best outcomes for doctors and patients, as well as to improve the U.S. health system's performance.
PIPC is funded by the Advanced Medical Technology Association, the Alliance for Aging Research, Easter Seals and Friends of Cancer Research. The group also includes some minority and women's groups, most of which are nonpaying members. Some biotechnology and drug companies, which could lose money if a treatment they developed is found to be less effective than a competitor's, also are members of the group.
According to PIPC spokesperson and former Rep. Tony Coelho (D-Calif.), who co-sponsored the Americans With Disabilities Act, the issue of comparative effectiveness research comes down to whether patients would get the medical care they need. There also are concerns that comparative effectiveness research could become cost effectiveness research, which might deny patients necessary treatment.
Alicia Diaz, federal affairs director for the Cuban American National Council, added that another fear is "research done with a very limited segment of the population would be applied to everyone."
According to the AP/Star, Obama administration officials have said that the law mandates that comparative effectiveness research include minorities and women and have promised that people with disabilities will be included as well. The final legislation language states that there is no intention to "mandate coverage, reimbursement or other policies for any public or private payer."
HHS spokesperson Jenny Backus said, "Information about the relative advantages of different treatments is critical to helping people with disabilities be better advocates for their own care," adding that before saving money, the first step is to conduct the research, as the program is "really about quality of care" (Werner, AP/Kansas City Star, 3/12).