Stimulus gives $1.1B to comparative studies

Obama, one; pharma lobbyists, zero. When the new president signs the $787 billion stimulus bill, he'll be launching something drugmakers sought to quash: funding for comparative effectiveness research.

As you know, that funding to compare various strategies for medical treatments was included in the bill's first draft. But drugmakers were worried about the language the House of Representatives' version used; they wanted the research to focus only on effectiveness--not cost-effectiveness. And in a broader sense, the industry worried that government would be intruding into people's healthcare, perhaps denying treatments to people who really need it. Or that the research would be broad and generalized, ignoring the very real individual differences in patient response to various drugs.

It's too early to tell whether those fears might be realized. What's known is that the Department of Health and Human Services will get $1.1 billion--some of it to evaluate clinical studies that have already been done, some to conduct new clinical trials.

- read the New York Times story

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