Navigation Links
Most Drug Studies Don't Help Docs Pick Best Treatment
Date:3/9/2010

The problem? Available meds ignored in favor of drugs in the pipeline, review finds

TUESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Less than one-third of drug studies published in major medical journals answer the fundamental question of which of the range of available medications works best for a particular condition.

So concludes the first wide-scale look at so-called "comparative effectiveness" studies, where experts seek to determine which available medicine is likely to prove most cost-effective for patients. The findings are published in the March 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

A focus on comparative effectiveness has been a hallmark of the federal government's attempts to gain the most from scarce health-care dollars, and in 2009 Congress earmarked over $1 billion for this type of research.

But the new report found that just 32 percent of the 328 drug studies reviewed involved comparisons of medicines that were currently available. The rest involved either drugs in development, or they pitted available drugs against no treatment or a placebo. The studies appeared in six of the leading medical journals between June 2008 and September 2009.

"Research on new therapies is critical for scientific advancement, but we also need data that will help doctors use existing therapies appropriately," study author Dr. Michael Hochman, of the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, explained in a news release from the Cambridge Health Alliance.

"We need research that addresses questions such as: Which of the more than 30 blood pressure medications on the market works best and in whom?" Hochman said. "Are certain diets and exercise regimens as good as medications for controlling cholesterol? Is it safe to aim for normal blood sugar levels when treating patients with diabetes? Such information is critical for day-to-day medical decision-making."

Relatively few studies (11 percent) compared an existing drug to non-pharmacological interventions (for example, exercise/diet or surgery) and less than one-third focused on different medication approaches (for example, achieving an optimal blood sugar level in patients with diabetes).

"Most of the comparative effectiveness studies we reviewed simply tested whether medication 'x' is better than medication 'y,' rather than addressing fundamental questions such as: How can we use this medication more effectively? When is this medication better than surgery? Which among two effective approaches is the safest?" senior author Dr. Danny McCormick, primary care physician at Cambridge Health Alliance and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, said in the news release.

Only 19 percent of the studies reviewed focused on drug safety, and just 2 percent provided data on cost-effectiveness, which would be of great help to patients, physicians and public or private insurers, the researchers noted.

Why do so few drug studies involve available medicines? According to the authors, most such trials are funded by pharmaceutical companies, which are more interested in getting new, marketable products on drugstore shelves. In fact, 90 percent of comparative effectiveness studies were funded by non-industry sources, such as non-profit foundations or governmental agencies.

"Many of our nation's research priorities are driven by the pharmaceutical industry," said Hochman, an assistant professor of clinical medicine at Keck. "These companies, not surprisingly, focus most of their attention on new therapies. If we hope to increase the amount and improve the quality of comparative effectiveness studies, the funding will most likely need to come from government institutions."

More information

There's more on comparative effectiveness research at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.



-- E.J. Mundell



SOURCE: Cambridge Health Alliance, news release, March 9, 2010


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Promega - TOP srl Agreement Enables Live Animal Imaging for Cancer Studies
2. COPPERTONE(R) Solar Research Center Unveils Studies on Efficacy of Topical Antioxidants in Sunscreens at 2010 Annual Meeting of The American Academy of Dermatology
3. Studies Detail Possible Benefits of omega-3 Fatty Acids for Dogs With Arthritis
4. Second Dose of Gene Therapy for Inherited Blindness Proves Safe in Animal Studies
5. UC studies show marijuana has therapeutic value, reports to legislature
6. New Scientific Studies Show Further Evidence of Avandia Dangers
7. Barrow researchers receive more than $2 million in NIH grants for nicotine studies
8. Studies Show Doctors Rapidly Forget Critical, Life-Saving Skills such as CPR and Life Support
9. PRA International Rolls out Client Access to Oracle(R) RDC for Early Phase Studies
10. Soil studies reveal rise in antibiotic resistance
11. Chicago Cancer Genome Project studies genetics of 1,000 tumors
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/23/2017)... Dc (PRWEB) , ... January 23, 2017 , ... ... American University is taught by healthcare management and evaluation leaders with decades of ... fee-for-service to pay-for-value in the United States healthcare system, there is a renewed ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Moisture measurement is a necessary process ... paramount to success. Selecting an inappropriate measurement method can cause costly errors, and ... same equipment. Rare or expensive substances are wasted and production may even be ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... January 23, 2017 , ... ... gynecological care and gynecological services for women of all ages. The ... a wide variety of reproductive services from routine health screenings to diagnosing and ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... January 23, 2017 , ... “Some Infallible Characteristics of Christ”: a fascinating ... of Christ” is the creation of published author, Rev. Dr. Robert W. Thomas, the ... years, a preacher for over nineteen, a pastor for over fifteen years. He is ...
(Date:1/22/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Medical lab testing through hospitals and other traditional ... test will take days to arrive to the end customer, having to travel through ... their lab tests, bypassing the cost and delay of traditional means. Now all employees ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/23/2017)... Alberta , January 23, 2017 ... del riñón (r enal) y ... sola dosis de a pabetalone    ... hoy los resultados preliminares de un ensayo en fase ... con discapacidad de riñón (renal) severa. Los datos demostraron ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... , January 23, 2017 Stock-Callers.com today ... Inc. (NASDAQ: CPRX ), Sophiris Bio Inc. (NASDAQ: ... MNTA ), and Agile Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: AGRX ... turned somewhat lower in late trade on Friday, January 20 ... about 0.3%, while shares of health care companies in the ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... Longer life expectancy and rising healthcare expenditure in developing countries are factors ... BCC Research reveals in its new report that markets in developing ... strong growth due to rising government healthcare spending, increased levels of healthcare ... Reading ... BCC ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: