National Pharmaceutical Council Comments on PCORI Methodology Committee Appointments

Washington, DC (January 21, 2011) – National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) Chief Science Officer Robert Dubois, MD, PhD, today commended the appointment of the 17 members of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s (PCORI) methodology committee. PCORI is a private, non-profit corporation created by the health reform law to develop and fund comparative effectiveness research (CER) and the methodology committee is tasked with assisting the Institute with developing and improving “the scientific methods of comparative clinical research” as outlined by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

“These committee members will play a critical role in shaping methodological standards for research,and, with their knowledge and qualifications, the experts who have been appointed to serve on the committee are well-positioned to achieve the committee’s goals, ” said Dr. Dubois. “The work of this group is foundational to achieving PCORI’s mission.”

The committee’s effort is important to ensuring that CER will be conducted and interpreted correctly so that it can meaningfully and positively impact health care decision making in the United States. A key challenge for the methodology committee will be determining how to consider subpopulations or personalized medicine, which are rapidly evolving scientific areas. As the science continues to mature, NPC believes the research methods must be flexible enough to evolve as well.

Over the next 18 months, the methodology committee will focus on establishing standards for randomized clinical trials, observational studies, and systematic reviews.

Another key task of the committee will be to develop a “translation table” which would identify which research methods are best suited for a specific research question. By first determining the questions that decision makers need answered and correlating those to which kinds of research can best address those questions, the translation table will help PCORI drive the most useful research. 

“NPC looks forward to supporting the work of the PCORI methodology committee through research that advances the conversation on optimal research methods,” said Dr. Dubois. 

About the National Pharmaceutical Council

The National Pharmaceutical Council is a health policy research organization dedicated to the advancement of good evidence and science, and to fostering an environment in the United States that supports medical innovation. Founded in 1953 and supported by the nation’s major research-based pharmaceutical companies, NPC focuses on research development, information dissemination, and education on the critical issues of evidence, innovation and the value of medicines for patients. For more information, visit

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