KHI News Service

HHS developing national, online inventory of comparative effectiveness research

Stimulus law included $1.1 billion to promote studies comparing medical treatments

By KHI NEWS SERVICE | July 19, 2010

Federal health officials are working to develop a national inventory of research on effective medical treatments, which will be made available online to the public, doctors and policymakers.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published notice today in the Federal Register that it seeks suggestions on the sources of information to include in the inventory, how to categorize them, and ways to encourage use of the inventory once it is established. The agency also seeks suggestions for a business model to make the inventory, "sustainable."

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that was passed last year with the intention of stimulating the economy included $1.1 billion to promote comparative effectiveness research. Officials said the inventory is essential for making some of those stimulus investments.

"The process of cataloguing CER activities and infrastructure will be critical to tracking ongoing and future investments in CER," HHS official wrote in the notice. "An important component of this effort is

creating an inventory of CER to ensure that patients, clinicians, and other decision makers can identify and locate relevant CER in a timely manner."

The inventory is intended to capture existing and ongoing research.

Comparative effectiveness research compares benefits and drawbacks of medical treatments with the goal of better informing doctors and patients about which work best.

The deadline for comments and suggestions is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, Aug. 9.

The comments will be posted online at