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HealthCore Responds to Need for Real-world Health Outcomes Information on Drugs and Devices with Physician Network and Prospective Effectiveness Research

WILMINGTON, Del., May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- HealthCore, Inc. is developing the Integrated Research Network (IRN(SM)) - a collaborative community of practicing physicians who participate in real-world prospective effectiveness research - in response to increasing need from industry and government to understand more about how drugs and medical devices are performing in patients in real-life settings.

To advance this understanding, HealthCore, the outcomes-based research subsidiary of WellPoint, Inc., is focusing on real-world prospective effectiveness research for healthcare interventions and continued evaluation of marketed drugs and medical devices. These real-world observational studies can be used to generate data about the clinical effectiveness, cost effectiveness and safety of products and devices.

"In the past, decision-makers have been challenged in obtaining applicable outcomes information, because of the artificial nature of findings derived from controlled clinical trials," said Mark Cziraky, HealthCore's vice president of research and development operations.

"HealthCore's research environment allows us to deliver information on how drugs and medical devices are used in the real world to follow patients over extended time periods and to integrate prospective, observational insights with retrospective data," Cziraky said. "The result is realistic, actionable information."

The demand for this kind of research is increasing--post-marketing research is the fastest growing drug development phase, estimated at $12 billion, and growing at 23 percent per year, according to a 2007 report from Research and Markets.

HealthCore will leverage the strengths of the Integrated Research Network--which generates real-world data from practicing physicians--the Healthcare Safety Sentinel System(TM) - a drug safety research system - and WellPoint's database of nearly 35 million members in its affiliated health plans to deliver more accurate and up-to-date information on patient outcomes.

HealthCore's research environment includes one of the largest longitudinal repositories of real-world health plan, practitioner and patient data existing in a single database in the United States.

These research environment assets, combined with HealthCore's experienced clinical and scientific staff, including epidemiologists, physicians, pharmacists, nurses, outcomes researchers, and biostatisticians, allow HealthCore to capture a more complete picture of the actual management of the patient--from the information gathered in the physician's office to their medical and pharmacy claims data--along with their physician's observations.

Among other initiatives, HealthCore is currently working with physicians on a two-year, multi-center prospective, observational study for patents with Type 2 diabetes on a specific therapy. The study is following outcomes and assessing clinical effectiveness in a real-world setting by integrating clinical practice and administrative claims level data.

The IRN(SM) will facilitate and shorten the life-cycle of prospective effectiveness research and comparative effectiveness research initiatives, such as those funded by the $1.1 billion grant program administered by the National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The IRN(SM) brings together physicians, hospital leaders, clinical researchers and pharmacists to identify clinical issues to study, provide clinical data for ongoing studies, respond to health surveys, and recruit and enroll patients in comparative effectiveness studies.

"Our immediate access to physicians will help facilitate real-world studies that can generate results quickly," said Dr. Louise Short, IRN(SM) medical director for HealthCore. "Our advisory panel of expert physicians, who have experience in community-based practice research and academia, have helped shaped the development of the IRN(SM) to improve the applicability of the data that is generated."

When data collection for a study is complete, this information will be integrated with HealthCore's administrative claims information, including medical and pharmacy utilization, laboratory results and health benefit information on millions of patients, providing additional validity to the economic and clinical outcomes analyses.

About HealthCore

HealthCore, based in Wilmington, Del., is the clinical outcomes research subsidiary of WellPoint. HealthCore has a team of highly experienced researchers including physicians, biostatisticians, pharmacists, epidemiologists, health economists and other scientists who study the "real world" safety and effectiveness of drugs, medical devices and care management interventions. HealthCore offers insight on how to best use this data and communicates these findings to health care decision-makers to support evidence-based medicine, product development decisions, safety monitoring, coverage decisions, process improvement and overall cost-effective health care. For more information, go to

SOURCE HealthCore, Inc.
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