New US institute for comparative effectiveness starts work

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 12 October 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5652
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

The United States ratcheted up its commitment to research on comparative effectiveness in health care when the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute officially began operations on 1 October.

The journal Health Affairs used the occasion to publish a focus issue on comparative effectiveness (, which it unveiled at a 5 October briefing in Washington, DC.

The institute differs significantly from the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in that it doesn’t have the authority to approve or set prices for interventions in the very fragmented US healthcare system. Criticisms by Republicans that such an institute would lead to the establishment of “death panels” ensured that the final legislation barred Medicare from using the institute’s work in deciding whether and how much …

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