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Comparative Effectiveness Institute Seeks Input on Areas of Need

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, a federal body tasked with funding science to generate evidence on the comparative efficacy of medicines and diagnostics, has proposed a set of research areas it plans to fund and is now seeking the public's comments on its plan.

Created as part of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, PCORI said today that it has developed five broad study areas on which it plans to focus its comparative effectiveness funding, and it has opened a public comment phase that will last until mid-March.

The general study areas include assessment of options for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment; improving healthcare systems; communication and dissemination research; addressing disparities; and accelerating patient-centered outcomes.

PCORI plans to fund research in priority areas where evidence is lacking or where the quality of information for conditions or diseases is poor, and the dearth of knowledge affects the ability of doctors to treat these problems.

"We want to hear from patients, caregivers, providers and the wider health care community on whether our draft priorities and initial research agenda capture the broad areas where more evidence-based information is needed to make better decisions," PCORI Board Chair Eugene Washington said in a statement. "This is a major milestone in our work as we continue to collaborate with all stakeholders and to build on the work of others for what we expect will be the most patient-centered research agenda yet."

In one area, PCORI expects to fund comparative studies of the effectiveness and safety of diagnosis, prevention, and treatment options aimed at different individuals with particular problems.

The institute also plans to fund studies that compare different approaches to providing comparative effectiveness research information between patients and doctors.

Another area of interest to PCORI will be to fund studies seeking to improve the nation's capacity to conduct patient-centered outcomes research, particularly by building up data infrastructure, improving analytic methods, and training researchers, patients, and stakeholders to participate in these studies.

PCORI also aims to identify potential differences in prevention, diagnosis, treatment effectiveness, or preferred clinical outcomes across patient populations and what will be required to achieve the best outcomes in each population.

"These priorities and agenda give a framework to and identify the broad questions that must be addressed so that patients can make better and more personalized decisions in partnership with their clinicians across all areas of health," PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby said.

"This initial agenda does not limit which conditions or treatments will be studied. It is a starting point. We hope that patients and other stakeholders will join with us in the coming months as we apply this framework to identify the specific questions that are most important for PCORI to address. We will be asking the community to think boldly about research projects across all five priority areas," said Selby.

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