Support for comparative effectiveness research grows

NPC releases third-annual survey results

WASHINGTON — A survey of 114 researchers, government officials, insurers, employers, business leaders and trade groups found nearly one-third say comparative effectiveness research will have a "moderate improvement" on healthcare decision making over the next 12 months.

The survey, conducted by the National Pharmaceutical Council, was the third in an annual series. The 31% who foresaw a moderate improvement from CER marked a 7 percentage-point increase from 2012. Over the next three to five years, 51% of respondents said there would be a moderate improvement, while 31% foresaw a moderate improvement over the next five years. Meanwhile, 24% said there would be a "substantial improvement" over the next three years, while 55% said such an improvement would occur over the next five years.

"The potential for CER to reshape the healthcare landscape is real, but the survey indicates that the actual impact is still on the horizon," NPC president Dan Leonard said. "Many healthcare 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."

The NPC said the survey indicated that as the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act picks up speed, healthcare stakeholders have growing expectations for the use of CER as a tool for improving healthcare decision making.

The survey also found that more and more stakeholders are looking to the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute as a leader in the CER effort. The survey found that 73% of respondents viewed PCORI as leading on established research priorities, while 67% said the same about the National Institutes of Health, and 65% said that about the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. At the same time, the NIH is still viewed as playing a leading role by 69%, but that number is down from last year's 85%, while 66% have the same view of the pharmaceutical industry, and 61% said that about PCORI, figures nearly unchanged from 2012. Most researchers, respectively 82% and 67%, expect the work conducting research to fall to academia and the pharmaceutical industry.

"We're expecting many groups to have a significant voice in the CER conversation during the coming years," said NPC director for health services research Kimberly Westrich. "Yet we'll likely see a clearer picture emerge as the research priorities identified in the last year yield results that stakeholders can use."

Compared with 2010 data, the survey indicated that respondents believe efforts to advance research standards and move toward integrated purchasing decisions have increased slightly during the past three years, with 16% saying there were no widely agreed-upon research standards, compared with 38% in 2010. The respondents who said there were widely agreed upon standards rose from 7% to 10%. Those who thought purchasing decisions took an individual, "stilted" view of services declined from 62% to 39%.


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