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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.

Press Release

Health Affairs Article Highlights Benefit of Reducing Low-Value Health Care

(Washington, D.C., September 20, 2016) – A post published today on the Health Affairs Blog brings to light the importance in reducing low-value...
Blog Post

Optimizing the recipe for ‘health care spending pie’: Finding the most effective resource allocation

As health care costs continue to climb, rising 5.3 percent in 2015 and approaching 18 percent of the U.S. economy, it is more essential than ever to...
Blog Post

CER Tweets of the Week: AHCJ CER Fellowships Announced; Latest Issue of JCER Published (August 8-12)

Last week, comparative effectiveness research stakeholders tweeted about the announcement of this year’s Association of Health Care Journalists CER...
Blog Post

CER Tweets of the Week: EBM in Elite Sports; Clinical Nuances (August 1 – August 5)

Last week, comparative effectiveness research stakeholders tweeted about a blog post published in BMJ (@BJSM_BMJ) that discusses the use of evidence...
Press Release

Health Affairs Article Highlights Benefit of Reducing Low-Value Health Care

(Washington, D.C., September 20, 2016) – A post published today on the Health Affairs Blog brings to light the importance in reducing low-value...
Press Release

NPC Comments on CMS’ Announcement to Allow Broader Access to Publicly Funded Databases

(Washington, DC, June 2, 2015)—The National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) today commented on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS)...
Press Release

State Medicaid Directors Share Views on Comparative Effectiveness Research And Its Impact on Policy in National Pharmaceutical Council Survey

(Washington, DC, April 16, 2015)—A new survey conducted on behalf of the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) shows that state Medicaid directors...
Press Release

NPC Highlights Stakeholder Views on Comparative Effectiveness Research and the Environment for Health Care Decision-Making

(Washington, DC, March 26, 2015)—A new survey of health care stakeholders reveals continued optimism that comparative effectiveness research (CER)...
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

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...
Commentary and Testimony Page

Keeping Our Eye on the CER Ball

Until the cherry blossoms begin to bloom later next month, most of the water cooler conversations in Washington will focus on the federal budget....
Commentary and Testimony Page

Leveling the Playing Field? Could a Landmark Decision Alter the CER Communications Landscape?

A growing chorus of voices is publicly sharing data on the effectiveness of treatment options, but one viewpoint has long been shut out of key areas...
YouTube Videos

2016 Comparative Effectiveness Research and the Environment for Health Care Decision-Making

This one-hour webinar highlights the results of NPC's annual survey of comparative effectiveness research (CER) stakeholders and includes a panel...
YouTube Videos

Comparative Effectiveness Research and the Environment for Health Care Decision-Making

During a March 26, 2015 webinar, the National Pharmaceutical Council discussed the results of its annual stakeholder survey on comparative...
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...
Blog Post

Optimizing the recipe for ‘health care spending pie’: Finding the most effective resource allocation

As health care costs continue to climb, rising 5.3 percent in 2015 and approaching 18 percent of the U.S. economy, it is more essential than ever to...
Blog Post

CER Tweets of the Week: AHCJ CER Fellowships Announced; Latest Issue of JCER Published (August 8-12)

Last week, comparative effectiveness research stakeholders tweeted about the announcement of this year’s Association of Health Care Journalists CER...
Blog Post

CER Tweets of the Week: EBM in Elite Sports; Clinical Nuances (August 1 – August 5)

Last week, comparative effectiveness research stakeholders tweeted about a blog post published in BMJ (@BJSM_BMJ) that discusses the use of evidence...
Blog Post

CER Tweets of the Week: PCORI Gives $153 Million in Grants, ACO Use of Preventative Services (July 18 – July 22)

What were comparative effectiveness research stakeholders buzzing about last week? Among other topics, they tweeted that the Patient-Centered...

Got CER? Educating Pharmacists for Practice in the Future: New Tools for New Challenges

This study provides an early evaluation of the CER Collaborative's training program's impact on...
cersurvey16

2016 Comparative Effectiveness Research and the Environment for Health Care Decision-Making

NPC's sixth annual survey of stakeholder views on comparative effectiveness research (CER) and the...

What Contributes Most to High Health Care Costs?

A small segment of the population—often the sickest

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