Comparative effectiveness research threatens medical innovation, group claims

Comparative effectiveness research could cost the nation trillions of dollars in economic activity and shorten the lives of Americans, concludes a new report from the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest.

Comparative effectiveness research is considered one of the cornerstones of healthcare reform, with its findings reaffirming certain medical practices and reducing excess or unnecessary care, notes Healthcare Finance News.

However, a study by the non-partisan CMPI contends that using such research in streamlining healthcare delivery would stifle investment in researching new treatments and drugs.

"Comparative effectiveness research would put the brakes on medical innovation and prevent many groundbreaking drugs from ever being invented," said Robert Goldberg, a CMPI vice president and one of the study's co-authors. "Investments in medical research provide among the most productive uses of capital in the economy. Americans will suffer economically and physically if the government forces CER on the U.S. healthcare system."

The study also predicts that CER would collectively cost America 34 million years of life, $1.7 trillion over the first decade of its implementation and $4 trillion over the longer term.

Yet some healthcare stakeholders are confident in CER's ability to improve the quality of medical decision and think CER efforts are moving in right direction, according to a new survey from the National Pharmaceutical Council. They also noted that such movement is gradual and that the full impact of CER still needs much more time.

"There is a clear recognition that the work isn't done on CER. It will need to be a thoughtful process to implement CER in a way that serves patients, improves outcomes and creates more value for every healthcare dollar spent," said NPC President Dan Leonard.

For more:
- read the Healthcare Finance News article
- read the CMPI report
- here's the National Pharmaceutical Council survey