WASHINGTON, June 12 (UPI) -- U.S. House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Pete Stark, D-Calif., Tuesday called for more comparative effectiveness research.
Comparative effectiveness research compares treatments with each other to see which works the best and delivers the best value.
Many other countries, including Great Britain and Australia, already have central bodies tasked with the research, and advocates in the United States have called for a similar, independent institution.
"Better information about the relative strengths and weaknesses of various products, procedures and services will help physicians and patients make wise decisions and will help public and private payers equitably manage rising healthcare costs," Stark said at a subcommittee hearing on comparative effectiveness.
As stewards of the Medicare program, Congress has an obligation to ensure the program is getting the best value for its money, and research comparing treatments will help, Stark said.
The best institution for funding the research is an independent body that is "accountable, yet independent, and free from both industry and political influence," he said.