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An Evaluation of Recent Federal Spending on Comparative Effectiveness Research

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ABSTRACT: 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 activities: 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.

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S. Lawrence Kocot

Former Brookings Expert

Principal and National Leader, Center for Healthcare Regulatory Insight - KPMG

Mark B. McClellan

Former Brookings Expert

Director, Margolis Center for Health Policy - Duke University

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