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Principles for Effectiveness Research Published

Last Updated: May 12, 2009.

Comparative effectiveness research is a useful approach to improving health care, but should focus on benefiting patients and not minimizing cost, according to a policy statement published online May 11 in Circulation.

TUESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Comparative effectiveness research is a useful approach to improving health care, but should focus on benefiting patients and not minimizing cost, according to a policy statement published online May 11 in Circulation.

Writing for the American Heart Association, Raymond J. Gibbons, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues note that comparative effectiveness research should ideally build on the results from clinical trials, be conducted based on solid scientific principles, and be transparent, well validated, and communicated to the appropriate people.

The authors note that such research should focus on benefiting patients rather than minimizing cost, and should facilitate the application of new technologies, with the understanding that the benefits will only be observed in the long term. Comparative effectiveness research should focus on conditions important for public health and should not substitute for clinical judgment. Funding for such research should not compete with other areas of government-funded research, but increased funding will be needed. Any entity overseeing comparative effectiveness research should be independent, accountable, fair, and transparent.

"Comparative effectiveness research offers great promise for improving clinical decision making and patient outcomes," Gibbons and colleagues conclude. "The American Heart Association offers these principles on comparative effectiveness research to advance its mission of building healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke."

Several authors have disclosed financial or consulting relationships with pharmaceutical companies.

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