Evolution of Comparative Effectiveness Research

Comparative Effectiveness Research to Improve Patient Care

11.05.13 | By John Castellani

Last week, I took part in an interesting multi-stakeholder roundtable convened by NEHI and the California Healthcare Institute (CHI). The discussion focused on how comparative effectiveness research (CER) has evolved beyond the basic premise of comparing healthcare interventions and how recent trends in health information technology, personalized medicine and the use of real-world evidence are shaping new models of patient-centered clinical research.

Although participants represented very different stakeholder groups (industry, AHRQ, patient organizations, PCORI, venture capital, etc.), we focused in on a key common theme: patients must be at the center of everything we do. Whether it’s designing clinical trials, building a research framework or implementing new research methods, patients’ input and unique perspective is essential to ensuring that we meet their needs and capture what is truly important to them.

As patients continue to move to the center of the research paradigm, there remain some important areas of uncertainty that need to be addressed to ensure innovation and progress. Without a clear path forward, it can be difficult for innovators to design clinical trials and navigate the regulatory process. For example, there must be clearer, well-established methods for measuring the outcomes that really matter to patients.

Similarly, the current framework for disseminating and implementing CER results is increasingly outdated, especially given how research has evolved in recent years. Clear, agreed-upon standards for communicating research findings are important to ensure that providers and patients have all the available evidence to make good health care decisions.

PhRMA is committed to advancing patient-centered care in collaboration with the wider healthcare community. Continuing dialog with all the stakeholders in our healthcare delivery system is essential in order to ensure that we are achieving outcomes and advancing science in ways that are meaningful for patients.



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