First PCORI Report Short on Specifics

Cheryl Clark, January 24, 2012

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute issued its heavily anticipated first report on national priorities Monday, but stopped short of specifying any diseases or conditions that many hoped or feared the $4.5 billion agency would target for comparative effectiveness research.

Rather, the brief, 22-page "Draft National Priorities for Research and Research Agenda, Version 1," merely carries general statements, which allude to five broad categories the 21-person Board of Governors believes address deficits in methods of research, rather than research on drug or procedure efficacy.

For example, there is no mention of any issues outlined in the Institute of Medicine's report, 100 Initial Priority Topics for Comparative Effectiveness Research from 2009.

"Well, you may say, why didn't you list a few?"  Harlan Krumholz, MD, one of PCORI governors, rhetorically asks in an interview with HealthLeaders Media after the report's release Monday.

"Rather than say, well, you know people with A-fib, they have a more important decision than people with breast cancer or people with multiple sclerosis have a more important opportunity than people with Parkinson... We didn't want to exclude particular patient groups or particular questions."


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