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Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Welcomes 'Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Act'

ALEXANDRIA, VA -- (Marketwire) -- 06/12/09 -- The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) commends the overall goals of the "Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Act of 2009," S. 1213, introduced this week by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.). The legislation builds on comparative-effectiveness research legislation introduced last year by the senators, and focuses primarily on comparative "clinical-effectiveness" research. AMCP maintains that comparative-effectiveness research also should include an examination of "cost-effectiveness" factors.

AMCP has been a strong advocate of comparative-effectiveness research, which is intended to evaluate and compare the implications and outcomes of two or more alternative strategies to treat a particular medical condition.

"The Academy strongly supports the objectives of this legislation," says Judith Cahill, executive director of AMCP. These include the promotion of objective, evidence-based research that is easily accessible to patients and health care professionals and can help in making informed decisions. AMCP also supports the legislation's goal of establishing an entity with a commitment to long-term funding that is responsible for setting the research agenda, awarding research grants and disseminating the results.

Among other things, S. 1213 would establish a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute that would prioritize treatments for research, including surgical procedures, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The legislation also would mandate that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services meet several requirements before allowing the use of any research -- including from comparative-effectiveness studies -- in making coverage decisions.

What the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Act does not contain is any language related to "cost-effectiveness" research. "AMCP believes that it is essential to the success of comparative-effectiveness research that the cost-effectiveness of treatments not be precluded as a component of overall research efforts," Cahill says.

"The Academy's members use various tools and strategies, including the cost effectiveness of treatments, as a means of combating the increasingly high cost of health care. It is vital that research on cost effectiveness be included in any effort to conduct comparative-effectiveness research," she says.

More information on AMCP's position on comparative effectiveness research is available at www.amcp.org. Go to the Public Policy & Advocacy tab and click on the "Where We Stand" page.

About AMCP

The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) is a national professional association of pharmacists and other health care practitioners who serve society by the application of sound medication management principles and strategies to improve health care for all. The Academy's 5,000 members develop and provide a diversified range of clinical, educational and business management services and strategies on behalf of the more than 200 million Americans covered by a managed care pharmacy benefit. More news and information about AMCP can be obtained on its website, at www.amcp.org.

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