ECRI Institute, AHRQ, NIH, and Others Address the Interface Between Comparative Effectiveness and Personalized Medicine

Sep 02, 2010, 11:35 ET from ECRI Institute

ECRI Institute's 17th Annual Conference, a free live and Webcast event, to be held October 19-20 ,at The National Institutes of Health  

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the advent of healthcare reform, the United States is embarking on an unprecedented effort to determine which health care intervention works best for the diagnosis or treatment of a given disease or condition. While comparative effectiveness and personalized medicine evolved separately, these significant trends interface, increasingly, in the healthcare systems.

Drs. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, and Carolyn Clancy, Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and more than 35 extraordinarily distinguished speakers from public and private sectors, are convening October 19-20, 2010, for ECRI Institute's 17th Annual Conference, Comparative Effectiveness and Personalized Medicine: An Essential Interface. The conference is being held on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

This meeting, free with advance registration, explores two critical streams of scientific inquiry—comparative effectiveness and personalized medicine—in order to better align evidence, infrastructure, and database needs, to highlight research challenges, and to address many aspects about regulatory, ethical, and societal factors affecting both fields.

The conference is organized by ECRI Institute, the world's largest independent, nonprofit health technology assessment and patient safety organization, in cooperation with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), two central federal research bodies in the field of comparative effectiveness and personalized medicine. Senior leaders from Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy, Health Affairs, the Milbank Memorial Fund, and the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania played key roles in designing a program intended for multiple healthcare constituencies, including payers and providers, policymakers, researchers, industry, government, and consumer groups.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act emphasizes the importance of comparative effectiveness research in order to evaluate clinical outcomes across study populations. It also acknowledges the key role of personalized medicine in ensuring the capacity to identify both individual and subgroup differences within populations. The addition of personalized medicine will help researchers identify, and clinicians and patients better predict, which interventions will deliver the optimal treatment to the appropriate patient at the right time.

"People are individuals and people are statistics. Our healthcare system has to recognize both of these realities," says Jeffrey C. Lerner, PhD, President and CEO, ECRI Institute. "The conference will help us understand how to do this."

Conference sessions cover the methods and data sources that the fields of comparative effectiveness research and personalized medicine draw upon, especially as they interface. Case studies will be used to illustrate the approach to a specific disease category (cancer), the technologies used for a variety of other disease conditions, and the healthcare delivery challenges and approaches in hospitals and integrated delivery systems. Speakers will examine regulation and coverage and the interplay between these guardians of health and safety and the technology innovation so prized by the public. They will also address the societal implications of comparative effectiveness and personalized medicine.

Confirmed speakers include: Euan A. Ashley, MRCP, DPhil, Stanford University; Ralph Brindis, MD, MPH, FACC, FSCAI,  American College of Cardiology, University of California, San Francisco, Kaiser Permanente; Bruce Nedrow Calonge, MD, MPH, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment; Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; Francis Collins, MD, PhD, National Institutes of Health; Robert T. Croyle, PhD, National Cancer Institute;  Susan Dentzer, Health Affairs; Jean Paul Gagnon, PhD, Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.;  Hertzel Gerstein, MD, MSc, FRCPC, McMaster University;  Honorable Richard N. Gottfried, JD, New York State Assembly; Julie Johnson, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS, University of Florida Center for Pharmacogenomics; Barry Kramer, MD, MPH, Office of Disease Prevention, NIH; Joel Kupersmith, MD, Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs; Michael Lauer, MD, FACC, FAHA, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, NIH; Jeffrey C. Lerner, PhD, ECRI Institute; Susan Love, MD, MBA, Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation; Elizabeth G. Nabel, MD, Brigham and Women's Hospital; Lee Newcomer, MD, United Healthcare; Wilson Pace, MD, University of Colorado DARTNet; Amy P. Patterson, MD, Office of Science Policy, NIH; Bruce Psaty, MD, PhD, University of Washington; Stephen Quake, DPhil, Stanford University; Scott D. Ramsey, MD, PhD, University of Washington; Murray Ross, PhD, Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy; J. Sanford Schwartz, MD, University of Pennsylvania; Jeffrey E. Shuren, MD, JD, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, FDA; Sue Siegel, MS, Mohr Davidow Ventures; Jean Slutsky, Center for Outcomes and Evidence, AHRQ; Barry M. Straube, MD, Office of Clinical Standards and Quality, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Robert Temple, MD, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA; Steven Teutsch, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health; Sean Tunis, MD, MSc, Center for Medical Technology Policy; Philip Wang, MD, DrPH, National Institute of Mental Health, NIH; Gail Wilensky, PhD, Project HOPE; Janet Woodcock, MD, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA; and Clyde Yancy, MD, FACC, FAHA, MACP, Baylor University Medical Center, American Heart Association. Additional speakers are being confirmed.

ECRI Institute is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Details on continuing medical education, nursing, and legal credits will be posted to the conference site.

There is no fee to attend this program in person or via Webcast, but space is limited and early registration is strongly recommended. ECRI Institute will offer live updates from the event on Twitter at #CEConf.  ECRI Institute's patient safely blog will provide a forum for participants to pose questions to the speakers in the week following the conference. Press credentials are available from NIH for those wishing to interview presenters. For conference details and to register, visit, contact

ECRI Institute's Comparative Effectiveness Resource Center at includes supplementary information on this and previous conferences and comparative effectiveness more generally.

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 more than 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 as a Collaborating Center of the World Health Organization and an Evidence-based Practice Center 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.