(Washington, DC, March 19, 2013)—As the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) picks up speed, a new survey shows that health care stakeholders have growing expectations for the use of comparative effectiveness research (CER) as a tool for improving health care decision-making. The survey, the third in an annual series conducted by the National Pharmaceutical Council, also indicates that stakeholders are looking increasingly to the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) as a leader in the CER effort.
“The potential for CER to re-shape the health care landscape is real, but the survey indicates that the actual impact is still on the horizon,” said Dan Leonard, president of NPC. “Many health care stakeholders are not seeing an immediate impact from CER, but they do expect CER to have a larger impact on decision-making during the next five years.”
During the next year, there is tempered optimism about CER, with 31 percent of respondents saying that CER will have a “moderate improvement” on health-care decision making over the next 12 months, which is a seven percentage point increase from 2012. It’s during the next few years in which the full impact of CER is expected. Respondents felt much more confident about the impact of CER on health care decision-making over the next three to five years, with a “moderate improvement” indicated by 51 percent in the next three years, and 31 percent in the next five years. A “substantial improvement” was indicated by 24 percent over the next three years and 55 percent over the next five years.
Survey respondents also were asked which organizations they viewed as playing leading roles in CER. PCORI is viewed as leading on establishing research priorities (73 percent), closely followed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) (67 percent and 65 percent, respectively). When it comes to funding and monitoring research, however, NIH is still perceived as playing the leading role in these areas, but to a significantly lesser extent than in previous years (69 percent in 2013 vs. 85 percent in 2012). The pharmaceutical industry followed at 66 percent, with PCORI at 61 percent, which are nearly identical to 2012 responses. Both FDA and private health plans are beginning to pop up on respondents’ radars as playing a role in funding and monitoring research.
“We’re expecting many groups to have a significant voice in the CER conversation during the coming years,” said Kimberly Westrich, director for health services research for NPC. “Yet, we’ll likely see a clearer picture emerge as the research priorities identified in the last year yield results that stakeholders can use.”
According to respondents, the actual work in conducting research is still expected to fall overwhelmingly to academia (82 percent) and the pharmaceutical industry (67 percent), mirroring the trend from previous years.
When compared to data from 2010, the survey also showed that respondents believe efforts to advance research standards and move toward integrated purchasing decisions have made modest gains during the past three years. Only 16 percent of respondents said that there were no widely agreed-upon research standards, down from 38 percent in 2010. The percent of respondents who said there were widely-agreed upon standards rose from 7 percent to 10 percent. Respondents who thought purchasing decisions took an individual, “siloed,” view of services declined from 62 percent to 39 percent, signaling that efforts toward integration may be breaking through.
The survey, conducted by Scientific & Social Systems on behalf of NPC, was fielded between September 2012 and January 2013 among key stakeholders impacted by CER, including researchers/thought leaders; government; insurers and health plans; employers; business coalitions/human resources specialists; and associations/trade groups. A total of 114 stakeholders participated.
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 www.npcnow.org and follow NPC on Twitter @npcnow.