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:12/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... edition of "Cardiovascular Health" in USA Today, which covers the innovative treatments, therapeutic ... health while maintaining fulfilling lives. “We are prolonging life 6 years in the ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... Rijuven Corp ... and overall health, day and night. No other wearable health technology on the market ... We wanted to give poeple more meaningful insights about their health than the usual ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... to build intelligent, connected applications, was named the best Sales Team of 2016 ... winner announcement was made today by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... PITTSBURGH, PA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... my hand and arm while brushing my teeth," said an inventor from Bridgewater, N.J. ... led me to develop this handy device." , He developed the patent-pending DEFLECTOR to ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... and stylish design wanted by today’s consumers at an affordable price, is now ... says the new watch is “a game changer” when it comes to the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... -- bioLytical Laboratories, ein Weltführer bei schnellen Tests für Infektionskrankheiten, ... von Kenia eingeführt. Continue Reading ... ... (PRNewsFoto/bioLytical Laboratories) ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161201/444905 ) bioLytical wurde durch die Clinton ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2, 2016 Lianluo Smart Limited (Nasdaq: ... Company") which develops, markets and sells medical devices ... China and international markets, recently attended ... Treatment New Progress Forum, co-hosted by the Institute ... , Guangdong Provincial People,s Hospital and Cardiology ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of Jain PharmaBiotech,s ... Companies" to their offering. ... , , Drug delivery ... value of drug delivery technologies and the anticancer drugs are difficult ... organs involved and the types of cancer as well as according ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: