Report: HHS Should Create Database To Gauge Studies
The Institute of Medicine in a report released on Thursday called for the creation of a single, public database that gauges the effectiveness of drugs and health services, Reuters reports.
IOM said such a database could help eliminate spending on ineffective treatments and reduce the $2 trillion in annual health spending. The report said Congress should direct HHS to establish and fund a program to evaluate health services and review clinical studies (Steenhuysen, Reuters, 1/24). The report laid out plans for a private or public-private entity that could produce the database (Walker, CQ HealthBeat, 1/24).
The report said, "If conducted properly, the systematic review should make obvious the gap between what is known about the effectiveness of a particular service and what clinicians and patients want to know."
Barbara McNeil, a report author and head of the department of health care policy at Harvard School of Medicine, said, "We need a way to synthesize data about the effectiveness of health care products and services in a standardized, objective fashion that will be considered reliable and trustworthy by all decision makers" (Reuters, 1/24).
A report brief is available online (.pdf).