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U.S. to compare medical treatments

New York Times, February 17, 2009

Under the $787 billion economic stimulus bill approved by Congress, researchers will receive $1.1 billion to compare drugs, medical devices, surgery and other ways of treating specific conditions. The bill creates a council of up to 15 federal employees to coordinate the research and to advise President Obama and Congress on how to spend the money. The program responds to a growing concern about the soaring cost of healthcare and that doctors have little or no solid evidence of the value of many treatments. Supporters of the research hope it will eventually save money by discouraging the use of costly, ineffective treatments.