National Patient Advocate Foundation Launches Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) Database

06 Jan, 2011, 10:44 ET from National Patient Advocate Foundation

New CER Database Catalogues Ongoing Research Studies Funded with $1.1 Billion Provided by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)

WASHINGTON, Jan. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) has created a new Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) Database available to the public on its website,  The new database compiles comparative studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).  The majority of these reviews are funded through the $1.1 billion in CER funding allocated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) which was signed into law in February 2009.

The NPAF CER Database currently includes 224 NIH CER projects along with a separate database which lists 49 NIH CER cancer-related studies.  Each project title contains a link to the NIH RePORTER website, which holds additional information on each individual project.  The NPAF CER Database also includes 72 ARRA-funded grants and 280 non-ARRA-funded grants under AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program, which funds individual researchers, research centers and academic organizations to work together with AHRQ to produce effectiveness and CER for clinicians, consumers and policymakers.

The Federal Coordinating Council for CER was established in 2009 as part of ARRA and is considered the precursor to the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).  The Council defined CER as "the conduct and synthesis of research comparing the benefits and drawbacks of different interventions and strategies used to prevent, diagnose, treat and monitor health conditions in 'real world' settings. The purpose of this research is to improve health outcomes by developing and disseminating evidence-based information to patients, clinicians, and other decision-makers, and by responding to their expressed needs, about which interventions are most effective for which patients under specific circumstances."

ARRA directed $400 million in funding to the Office of the Secretary in HHS, $400 million to the NIH and $300 million to AHRQ for CER purposes.  

"The $1.1 billion our government has allocated for CER has the potential to provide standardized and reliable information on the quality, effectiveness and cost of medical treatments, leading to better care. Likewise, it also has the capacity to save tremendously on healthcare costs.  Therefore, it is necessary that these CER studies are evaluated correctly and their findings made available to the public," said Nancy Davenport-Ennis, CEO and President of NPAF. "In many instances, we don't always know what works best for specific populations, diseases or conditions.  The more we can learn from these published studies, the better able physicians and patients will be to make informed health care decisions.

When $1.1 billion in funding was allocated for CER, NPAF created the database of the different studies funded by ARRA that would be funded by NIH and AHRQ. As select CER studies are completed, the NPAF Scientific Board of Directors will review the content by analyzing these studies against a matrix of questions and will subsequently publish a report of their findings. These CER Evaluative reviews will be shared with stakeholder groups with a specific interest and expertise in the studies' areas of focus.

Ultimately, the goal of the project is to formally initiate a standard process of review with members of a broad scientific community, coordinated with the NPAF/Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) Scientific Board of Directors and to establish this process as a peer-reviewed approach for each CER study.

NPAF is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the mission of creating avenues of patient access by improving access to, and reimbursement for, evolving therapies, therapeutic agents, and devices through policy and legislative reform at the state and federal levels.  

The NPAF CER Database is updated monthly and is available at

National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) is a national, non-profit organization that is dedicated to the mission of creating avenues of patient access through improved access to, and reimbursement for, evolving therapies, therapeutic agents, and devices through policy and legislative reform at the state and federal levels. Our mission is shaped by the experiences of the patients served through our companion organization, Patient Advocate Foundation.  For more information see

SOURCE National Patient Advocate Foundation