Is The Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute Really More Industry-Centered?

Roy M. Poses | Health Care Renewal | May 31, 2013

One of the biggest reasons our health care system seems so dysfunctional is that clinicians and patients have great difficulty determining what might be the appropriate management of particular clinical problems.  Due to endless and sometimes deceptive marketing, conflicts of interest affecting health care professionals and academics, and manipulation and suppression of clinical research, making truly evidence based decisions that put individual patients interests first has become very difficult.  Instead, we may end up using excessively expensive, relatively ineffective, and more dangerous than anticipated drugs, devices, and diagnostic and therapeutic strategies, thus leading to poor patient outcomes and high costs.

Background - the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)

One lingering hope has been that better clinical research, particularly focusing on the outcomes that are most important to patients (patient-centered outcomes), and comparing clinical strategies that may be widely used but poorly evaluated (comparative effectiveness research) would help dissipate the fog.  An attempt to promote such research in the US appeared in our recent health reform legislation, the Affordable Care Act.  It authorized the creation of the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).