House backs $3B bill to compare therapeutics

Lawmakers in the House found plenty of bipartisan support to back a bill that provides $3 billion to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to compare drugs in order to determine which are the most effective at the least cost. Funding would come from the federal government, insurers and employers. Payers would then use the information to help determine which therapies are most appropriate for members. PhRMA voiced some concerns the data would be more about cost than quality, but with drug prices rising fast Congress appears intent on finding ways to come up with a more sensible approach to buying therapeutics.

"Television and glossy magazine ads drive demand for the latest, not necessarily the most effective, treatments," Rep. Tom Allen told UPI. Comparative effectiveness research "would allow doctors and other providers to make informed decisions about whether new or high-priced drugs, devices and other medical treatments do or do not provide better clinical outcomes."

- here's the UPI report on the legislation