Want to know what's happening next in healthcare?

MedCityNews is the leading online news source for the business of innovation in healthcare.


“I find MedCity News a great resource for taking the pulse of the market and sourcing potential investment opportunities.”

Bernie Rudnick, Angel investor and advisor, CapGenic Advisors, LLC


Sign up for our daily newsletter


MedCity morning read, Wednesday, April 15

April 15, 2009 8:07 am by | 0 Comments

Health care reform photo illustrationDrug and medical device makers, along with some members of Congress, are concerned that comparative effectiveness studies — which are receiving $1.1 billion in economic stimulus money — could be used to limit patients’ options, according to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required).

As part of the stimulus package, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and U.S. Health and Human Services Department are each set to get $400 million, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), $300 million, for doing research that compares the effectiveness of different treatment options as a means to reduce wasteful or ineffective treatments, according to a Health Policy Daily report by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The NIH has said that it would consider using its stimulus money to back research comparing the cost-effectiveness of biologic medications, cancer treatments and preventive measures for chronic illnesses such as diabetes, the Journal said. President Barack Obama has said that reigning in runaway health care costs is key to reducing the nation’s budget deficit.

Carolyn Clancy, director of the AHRQ told the Wall Street Journal, “the overarching purpose of the program is to give clinicians and patients information they need to make decisions.” That would include information on safety, effectiveness and cost.

However, Lori Reilly, vice president for policy and research at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, told the Journal, “We don’t want [the research] to be used to deny access to care.”

Teresa Lee, vice president of the Advanced Medical Technology Association, agreed. Using “this research to deny access to appropriate treatments for individual patients with individual medical histories and individual needs should not be the objective.”

In an opinion piece published by the Journal (subscription required), Dr. Jerome Groopman and Dr. Pamela Hartzband, who are staff at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and faculty at Harvard Medical School, said so-called “quality” care can be bad. “In too many cases, the quality measures have been hastily adopted, only to be proven wrong and even potentially dangerous to patients,” Groopman and Hartzband wrote.

More stories worth a read:

Photo illustration from edflix.org.

Copyright 2014 MedCity News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Mary Vanac

By Mary Vanac

Mary Vanac is a co-founder of MedCity News.
More posts by Author

0 comments

Hear the latest news first

Get our daily newsletter or follow us.

Advertisement