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ECRI Institute Releases Roadmap to the Evidence on Finasteride for Prevention of Prostate Cancer: New Hotline Report to Aid Healthcare Decision Makers and Journalists

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In response to a recent New York Times article that questions why currently available medications designed to treat and prevent some cancers are being ignored, ECRI Institute, an independent nonprofit organization, is offering a roadmap to the evidence on Finasteride for Prevention of Prostate Cancer for free download.

The November 13, 2009, New York Times article, "Drugs to Deter Some Cancers Are Not Taken," was the most e-mailed article of the day from the Times and stimulated hundreds of comments on the publication's Web site. There is no simple answer about whether or which patients should take finasteride.

Medical decision makers in hospitals, health systems, public and private payer organizations, as well as medical journalists who are trying to clarify issues for themselves and for the public may benefit from consulting research references that form the evidence base for finasteride, one of the drugs discussed in the article. As a service to these constituencies, ECRI Institute is providing free access to its Hotline summary of resources and references.

"The summary of published literature and the perspectives we offer are drawn from the abstracts of key evidence sources," says Jeffrey C. Lerner, Ph.D., president and CEO, ECRI Institute. "We believe they are an excellent starting point for healthcare professionals, journalists, and the public to decide which complete reports to consult in forming and conveying their perspectives. In other words, this is a guide to the evidence literature."

The Hotline Response, Finasteride for Prevention of Prostate Cancer, was assembled by ECRI Institute's Evidence-based Practice Center staff of research analysts. The report, a component of ECRI Institute's subscription-based membership program, Health Technology Assessment Information Service(TM), is being distributed at no charge as a public service. The document is referred to as a "Hotline" report because it is a rapid response examination of research abstracts as opposed to a full quantitative and qualitative assessment of that evidence.

ECRI Institute's Health Technology Assessment Information Service provides new technology forecast profiles, Health Technology Trends newsletter articles, health technology assessments, and comparative-effectiveness reviews that evaluate technologies along the continuum from innovation to wide diffusion into practice. They are researched and written by a multidisciplinary staff of full-time doctoral-level research scientists, clinicians, medical technologists, medical librarians, and other healthcare professionals, which include ECRI Institute's Evidence-based Practice Center staff.

ECRI Institute has a rich history of providing assessments to hospitals, health systems, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and other federal agencies, as well as ministries of health and hospitals worldwide. To maintain objectivity in its research and publications, ECRI Institute requires all its employees to adhere to strong conflict-of-interest policies that keep employees at financial arm's length from medical product/pharmaceutical/biotechnology manufacturers and health plans.

For more information about ECRI Institute's Health Technology Assessment Information Service, visit, call (610) 825-6000, ext. 5060, e-mail, or write to 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462.

About ECRI Institute

ECRI Institute (, a nonprofit organization, dedicates itself to bringing the discipline of applied scientific research to healthcare to discover which medical procedures, devices, drugs, and processes are best to enable improved patient care. As pioneers in this science for 40 years, ECRI Institute marries experience and independence with the objectivity of evidence-based research. Strict conflict-of-interest guidelines ensure objectivity. ECRI Institute is designated a Collaborating Center of the World Health Organization and an Evidence-based Practice by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. ECRI Institute PSO, listed as a federally certified Patient Safety Organization by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, strives to achieve the highest levels of safety and quality in healthcare by collecting and analyzing patient safety information and sharing lessons learned and best practices.

For more information, contact:
Laurie Menyo
(610) 825-6000, ext.  5310


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