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June 2, 2010

Using Science to Improve the Nation's Health System: NIH's Commitment to Comparative Effectiveness Research

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Office of the Director, Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland (Dr Lauer); and Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health (Dr Collins).

JAMA. 2010;303(21):2182-2183. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.726

Since Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States in January 2009, nearly all sectors of society have engaged in intense discussions about the best ways to stimulate the nation's economy and reform the US health care system. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been—and will continue to be—in the middle of such conversations, emphasizing the power of biomedical research to show what health interventions yield the greatest benefits.

Health reform and economic concerns may have moved comparative effectiveness research (CER) from relative obscurity into the public policy spotlight. However, CER is not a new concept to NIH, which has long recognized and supported the value of CER for providing evidence-based, well-validated approaches to medical care.