Tuesday, August 05, 2008
BLOGSCAN - A Proposed Comparative Effectiveness Institute
On the Health Beat Blog, Maggie Mahar discussed a bill in the US Senate proposing the formation of a comparative effectiveness institute. It has one striking drawback. The board of the proposed institute, which would include representatives of "private payers; [and] pharmaceutical, device and technology companies." Both groups have financial interests favoring comparative effectiveness studies with particular groups. Private payers make more money when they can avoid paying for expensive tests, treatments, and other forms of care. They would prefer to see comparative effectiveness studies that find that more expensive tests, treatments, etc do not work so well. Pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and device companies would prefer to see comparative effectiveness studies that find their products work well. Because of these conflicts of interest, neither representatives of private payers nor representatives of pharmaceutical, biotechnology or device companies should be on the board of this institute.