NPC Stakeholder Survey: Impact of Comparative Effectiveness Research On Health Care Decision-Making Still Three to Five Years in the Future

For Immediate Release
Contact: Andrea Hofelich,, 202-827-2078

(Washington, DC, March 14, 2016)—The National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) today released the results of its annual survey of stakeholder views on comparative effectiveness research (CER) and the environment for health care decision-making. The survey, now in its sixth year, found that stakeholders continue to have a high perception of the importance of CER, but believe that its full impact is still three to five years in the future.

Specific findings from the survey include the following:

  • Stakeholders noted the growing significance of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s (PCORI) role in establishing research standards and funding and monitoring CER;
  • Patient groups are expected to be highly engaged in setting research priorities;
  • Academia, followed by the biopharmaceutical industry, is viewed as playing a leading role in conducting CER; and
  • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is expected to be a leader in translating and communicating research.

“Each year, we continue to move forward in a positive direction, yet the full impact of CER on health care decision-making remains just down the road,” said NPC President Dan Leonard.

The survey also asked respondents about the health care decision-making environment, considering factors that could impact the quality of CER and its usefulness in making treatment and coverage decisions:

  • Stakeholders believe better translation of CER results into actionable recommendations would increase its impact.
  • They remain optimistic that there is movement toward widely agreed-upon research standards, which would provide more consistency in the conduct and evaluation of CER.
  • The use of real-world evidence remains limited in decision-making.
  • Stakeholders believe that the value assessment of treatments remains narrowly focused on clinical effectiveness, rather than taking into account factors that matter to patients, such as quality of life, workplace productivity, adherence to treatments and other outcomes.

“It’s clear there is still more work ahead when it comes to utilizing real-world evidence and broadly assessing the value of treatments,” said Kimberly Westrich, NPC Vice President for Health Services Research. “Yet it’s encouraging to see so much progress toward agreed-upon research standards. Progress in all of these areas will help make CER more actionable for health care stakeholders.”

The survey, conducted by Scientific & Social Systems on behalf of NPC, was fielded between September 14, 2015, and January 15, 2016, among key stakeholders who are knowledgeable about CER. These stakeholders included researchers/thought leaders; government; insurers/health plans; employers; business coalitions; and associations. A total of 146 stakeholders participated.

The complete survey results, instrument and chart pack are available on NPC’s website.

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.