An Evaluation Of Recent Federal Spending On Comparative Effectiveness Research: Priorities, Gaps, And Next Steps
- Joshua S. Benner ( [email protected] ) is research director at the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at the Brookings Institution, in Washington, D.C.
- Marisa R. Morrison was a senior research assistant at the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform. She is now a doctoral student in health policy and management at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- Erin K. Karnes is a research associate at the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform.
- S. Lawrence Kocot is the deputy director of the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform.
- Mark McClellan is the director of the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 included new funding for developing better evidence about health interventions, with a down payment of $1.1 billion for comparative effectiveness research. Our analysis of funds allocated in the legislation found that nearly 90 percent of the $1.1 billion will eventually be spent on two main types of activity: developing and synthesizing comparative effectiveness evidence, and improving the capacity to conduct comparative effectiveness research. Based on our analysis, priorities for the new funding should include greater emphasis on experimental research; evaluation of reforms at the health system level; identification of effects on subgroups of patients; inclusion of understudied groups of patients; and dissemination of results.