National Pharmaceutical Council Selects Five Research Projects for Funding

Washington, DC (January 30, 2012) – The National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) today announced that it has selected five projects related to comparative effectiveness research (CER) that will receive funding in 2012. The recipients were selected as part of NPC’s “request for proposal” process launched last year.

“Our work over the last year has focused on the intersection between the policy issues and the standards and methods for evidence generation, interpretation and application, as well as on demonstrating the value of health outcomes,” said NPC President Dan Leonard. “We are very excited to be working with noted academic organizations on new projects that will continue to build on our previous work and answer important research questions.”

The selected projects and recipients include:

  1. Translating CER into Medical Payment Policy: Views from Public and Private Payer Medical Directors; Harvard Medical School/Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Surgery and Public Health/UMASS Medical School/ Institute for Clinical and Economic Review –This study will examine how senior medical payment policy-makers in commercial insurance agencies and Medicaid programs view CER, how they currently use CER in setting medical policy, and how they believe CER and the work of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute will affect their organizations in the future.
  2. Heterogeneous Treatment Effects: Biology vs. Demography; University of Maryland School of Pharmacy–This project is intended to show how non-biologic factors as well as biologic factors influence variability in patient’s response to treatments using prostate cancer as a case study.
  3. Does Patient Heterogeneity Contribute to Health Disparities; University of Chicago –This project will assess whether more and less vulnerable populations differ in the extent to which medical decisions are aligned with their preferences and the potential to improve decision making for these populations.
  4. Heterogeneity of Treatment Effects Across Methods, Populations and Data Resources; Auburn University/Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership –This study will help to further understand the magnitude of heterogeneity when working in observational data networks, and will identify specific sources of heterogeneity to help guide interpretations.
  5. The Good, the Bad and the Different: Deciphering Heterogeneity to Managed Care Pharmacy and Medical Directors; The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy–This project will develop a strategy to equip managed care organization pharmacy and medical directors with the tools to critically evaluate comparative effectiveness evidence and promote appropriate interpretation and consideration of individual treatment benefits in the decision-making process.

“As patient-centered outcomes research is funded and gets underway, one of the biggest questions will be what individual patients might expect based upon their personal characteristics, conditions and preferences,” said NPC Chief Science Officer Robert Dubois, MD, PhD. “We know that ‘one size’ does not fit all patients. That’s why we need to better understand heterogeneity, or how individual patients respond differently, why they do, and how to apply this knowledge in decision-making.”

The awards total nearly $820,000.

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 and follow NPC on Twitter @npcnow.

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