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Blue Pill or Red Pill: The Limits of Comparative Effectiveness Research

Comparative effectiveness research (CER) has been heralded as a way to reduce health-care costs by determining which treatments provide the most benefit for the largest number of patients. This report warns that by choosing "winners and losers," CER drug trials may leave patients who best respond to the "losing" drug without coverage.

The report, conducted by researchers Tomas Philipson and Eric Sun of the Manhattan Institute's Project FDA, examines a CER trial for antipsychotic drugs in the Medicaid program and finds that applying restrictive reimbursement for "losing" drugs could actually reduce patient health and increase health-care costs. By limiting coverage for more expensive drugs that benefit patients outside the average, the authors find that worsened patient health would increase health-care costs by $1.3 billion, outweighing the Medicaid savings.

Dr. Philipson authored a related paper on this topic, "The Impact of Comparative Effectiveness Research on Health and Health Care Spending," that was published in the Journal of Health Economics website.

Newsletter Volume

E.V.I.dently January 2015

NPC MessageHealth Care Outlook for 2015In this month’s Message from NPC, President Dan Leonard considers how the Affordable Care Act and stakeholders...
Blog Post

CER Tweets of the Week: New UMB Center of Excellence In CER, UIC College of Pharmacy Master’s in CER, PCORI in Lancet (January 19-23)

Comparative effectiveness research (CER) stakeholders tweeted about new educational opportunities regarding CER. They shared an announcement about a...
Blog Post

CER Tweets of the Week: The Challenges of Gray-Zone Medicine, PCORI in the Congress Blog (January 12-16)

This week, comparative effectiveness research (CER) stakeholders tweeted multiple articles regarding CER and various challenges they face. They...
Blog Post

CER Tweets of the Week: AcademyHealth Compares International CER, Resource Library on CER (January 5-9)

This week, comparative effectiveness research (CER) stakeholders tweeted about @AcademyHealth’s new paper comparing international efforts to boost...
Press Release

Michael Ciarametaro Joins National Pharmaceutical Council as Director of Research

Washington, DC (July 31, 2014)—The National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) today announced that Michael Ciarametaro has joined the health policy...
Press Release

NPC Study Outlines When & How Health Decision-Makers Should Consider Individual Patient Differences

Washington, DC (July 29, 2014)—New research led by the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) can assist health care stakeholders to understand when...
Press Release

NPC Annual Stakeholder Survey: Comparative Effectiveness Research Is Important, But Impact on Health Care Decision-Making Is Still on the Horizon

(Washington, DC, May 19, 2014)—A new survey of health care stakeholders reveals continued optimism for the use of comparative effectiveness research...
Press Release

CER Collaborative Improving Health Outcomes Through New Comparative Evidence Tools

(Washington, DC, March 24, 2014)—Three peer-reviewed articles published in Value in Health offer important guidance to aid formulary decision-makers...
Commentary and Testimony Page

Chain Drug Review – Commentary: “Health Care Outlook for 2015”

This commentary was originally published in the January 5, 2015 issue of Chain Drug Review.By: Dan Leonard, President, National Pharmaceutical...
Commentary and Testimony Page

NPC Comments on PCORI Proposal for Peer Review of Primary Research and Public Release of Research Findings

November 7, 2014Dr. Joe SelbyExecutive DirectorPatient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute1828 L St., NW, Suite 900Washington, DC 20036Dear Dr....
Commentary and Testimony Page

NPC Comments on CMS' Proposed Changes to Protected Classes

March 7, 2014Marilyn B. TavennerAdministratorCenters for Medicare & Medicaid ServicesU.S. Department of Health and Human Services200 Independence...
Commentary and Testimony Page

The State of CER and the Environment for Health Care Decision Making

This month, NPC released its third annual survey on stakeholders’ views on comparative effectiveness research (CER), “The State of Comparative...
YouTube Videos

Why are quality measures important? We asked health care thought leaders to tell us why.

Quality measurement, tied to financial incentives, is one of many approaches accountable care programs are using to promote system-wide improvement....
YouTube Videos

Real-World Impact of Comparative Effectiveness Research Findings on Clinical Practice

National Pharmaceutical Council Chief Science Officer Robert W. Dubois, MD, PhD, discusses a peer-reviewed study suggesting that changes are needed...
YouTube Videos

Shifting the Focus From "How Much" to "How Well" We Spend Our Health Care Dollars

A. Mark Fendrick, MD, director of the Center for Value-Based Insurance design at the University of Michigan, highlights the key findings from a...
YouTube Videos

Engaging Consumers in Today's Changing Health Care Payment and Delivery Environment

The current health care delivery system is evolving from a fee-for-service system to one that is performance-based. How does this shift impact...
Blog Post

CER Tweets of the Week: New UMB Center of Excellence In CER, UIC College of Pharmacy Master’s in CER, PCORI in Lancet (January 19-23)

Comparative effectiveness research (CER) stakeholders tweeted about new educational opportunities regarding CER. They shared an announcement about a...
Blog Post

CER Tweets of the Week: The Challenges of Gray-Zone Medicine, PCORI in the Congress Blog (January 12-16)

This week, comparative effectiveness research (CER) stakeholders tweeted multiple articles regarding CER and various challenges they face. They...
Blog Post

CER Tweets of the Week: AcademyHealth Compares International CER, Resource Library on CER (January 5-9)

This week, comparative effectiveness research (CER) stakeholders tweeted about @AcademyHealth’s new paper comparing international efforts to boost...
Blog Post

CER Tweets of the Week: Clinical Uncertainty in Surgery and EBM & Patient-Centered Medicine and EBM (December 29 – January 2)

This week, articles about evidence-based medicine (EBM) attracted the attention of comparative effectiveness research (CER) stakeholders on Twitter....

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Commentary & Testimony