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Tag: National Pharmaceutical Council

How Effective is CER?

flying cadeuciiHaving the best evidence at hand is vitally important for making health care treatment decisions. But even when the right—or best—information is available, it isn’t always put to use in clinical practice.

Why? Although we are getting better at generating evidence, we’re still not doing a great job of using it.

Our progress in creating a robust pipeline of comparative effectiveness research (CER) is clear. By 2019, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is expected to receive an estimated $3.5 billion from the PCOR Trust Fund to fund CER. CER is not new, but the investment in PCORI represents a national appetite for a robust and reliable queue of research to overcome one of the greatest perennial challenges in health care delivery—knowing what works, for whom it will work and under what conditions.

CER offers every provider, patient and payer the promise of better care, yet its impact on patient outcomes remains on the horizon, rather than a reality in health care settings today. Why? Research published recently in the American Journal of Managed Care suggests that changes are needed in order to see more consistent translation of research findings into clinical practice. In short, at the moment, we have a hard time using what we learn from CER.

This research examined how major CER studies have impacted care. We evaluated real-world utilization trends before and after a) publication of CER findings and b) the release of relevant clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) from four high-profile CER studies published within the last decade.

The research we examined tells the story. Under the microscope were four major studies, including: PROVE-IT, an examination of cholesterol-lowering treatment strategies from 2004; MAMMOGRAPHY WITH MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI), a comparison of diagnostics to detect breast cancer from 2004; SPORT a comparison of surgical and non-operative treatments for herniated disks from 2006; and COURAGE, a comparison of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to optimal medical therapy (OMT) for people with coronary artery disease, from 2007.

These studies delved into pressing therapeutic questions, and the findings of each study revealed new thinking in optimizing care for patients. But, despite the shifts in care that could have—or should have—occurred, our analysis revealed no clear pattern of utilization in the first four quarters after publication. Even after the studies were incorporated into CPG, we were not able to consistently find changes in utilization or clinical practice.

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PCORI Works to Deliver the Comparative Evidence Health Care Stakeholders Need

Joe SelbyAt the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), we believe comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) is important and that we have a critical role to play in establishing the nation’s CER priorities. I’m pleased to say that many respondents to the latest National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) survey think so as well.

While results of CER studies that we and others are funding have yet to be completed, and CER’s ultimate ability to transform our healthcare system is still years away,  nearly all respondents in this fourth annual survey agree that CER is here to stay and that it will become increasingly important in aiding decision making. Respondents also indicated that CER has not yet assessed the broader array of outcomes that matter to patients.

These are important insights.  The survey tracks the attitudes of researchers, policymakers, employers, business groups, insurers, and health plans. Engaging with these stakeholders – along with patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other providers – and ensuring that the work we fund provides evidence they can trust and use, are essential if CER is to realize its potential in guiding health care.

That’s why Congress authorized PCORI’s establishment as an independent, non-profit organization focused on ensuring that the broad healthcare community is meaningfully engaged in our work.  We’re governed by a diverse board that represents all stakeholders. And through an open and collaborative approach to research, we’re identifying the questions patients and other clinical decision makers need answered, so they can make better-informed choices that will lead to better outcomes.

We’ve already awarded $464.4 million to support 279 studies that advance patient-centered CER and we expect to commit another $1 billion over the next two years.

 

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