Conditions to prioritize for comparative effectiveness research

October 1, 2009

State of the Industry survey results

Alzheimer's disease, which ranked fourth, is a targeted area that is gaining prevalence as baby boomers age and has enormous costs for society, as well as impacts on the quality of life for patients and their caregivers, Nash says.

"It may be that if true comparative-effectiveness research were done, you would be able to positively impact that particular area much more quickly than heart disease, for example, even though heart disease is of much greater prevalence and cost to society," he says.

"That we need to change," says Nash.

As a result of government-funded studies, such as those currently being directed by AHRQ, physicians will be able to implement improvements in care delivery in a shorter amount of time than if studies were conducted through private-market sponsors.

"Perhaps in the era of the electronic medical record with clinical decision support, there is a new opportunity to present physicians at the point of care with information of this type, such as quoting the study, letting the physician know that the particular treatment that they're considering has been subject to such research, and referring the physician to it," Nash says.