Biotechnology Healthcare - June 2009 - (Page 35)
Rethinking Comparative Effectiveness Research Opponents to the new CER legislation are raising red flags, warning about a one-size-fits-all treatment approach and the rationing of healthcare. But Dr. Donald Berwick, president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, says to look at which interventions are effective — but not what they cost — is irrational and simply bad policy. An Interview With Dr. Donald Berwick, President and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement C omparative effectiveness research on a national basis is now a reality. In March, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, one of three government agencies that received CER funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 — the other two were the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality — named the 15 members of the new Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research. The Council is already holding public listening sessions on how to use CER to reduce ineffective and costly medical treatments. As many predicted, having a federal agency evaluate the comparative effectiveness of prescription drugs, biologic and other targeted therapies, and medical treatments is raising hackles in the healthcare industry. Opponents have initiated a massive campaign to eliminate or water down many of the legislative provisions. Katherine T. Adams, senior editor of Biotechnology Healthcare, recently spoke with Dr. Donald Berwick, president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, about the value of CER — and whether it will help rein in the runaway healthcare costs in this country. Their interview begins on the following page. JUNE 2009 · BIOTECHNOLOGY HEALTHCARE 35
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