Forum Session

Exploring Comparative Effectiveness: Activities of CDC, VA, and CMS to Advance Evidence-Based Health
October 3, 2008


Michele J. Orza, ScD


Much interest has been shown in expanding federal capacity for comparative effectiveness research. In discussing that expansion, it is useful to understand the efforts under way. This session, the third in a six-part series intended to clarify the complexity of issues surrounding comparative effectiveness, described current activities in both the public and private sectors and examine three additional federal agencies engaged in the generation and application of evidence: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Veterans Health Administration at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The discussion addressed how to preserve that which is working well and integral to the key functions of these agencies, how to stimulate greater sharing of expertise and linkages across public and private domains, and how to position new activities to be most effective.

This session builds on a September 26, 2008 Forum meeting, which examined activities at three agencies engaged in the development and assessment of health evidence: the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.


Slides from the presentations by Dr. Holve, Dr. Mercer, Dr. Kupersmith, and Dr. Phurrough are available for download. Speakers' biographies are also available.

Related Materials

For an overview of systematic reviews in public health, see Melissa Sweet and Ray Moynihan, Improving Population Health: The Uses of Systematic Reviews (Millbank Memorial Fund, December 2007). An environmental scan of the capacity to implement comparative effectiveness research can be found at "A First Look at the Volume and Cost of Comparative Effectiveness Research in the United States" (AcademyHealth, June 2009).

For more information on the other sessions in this series, see "Exploring Comparative Effectiveness: Fundamentals of Evidence-Based Health and Introduction to the Cochrane Collaboration" (July 25, 2008); "Exploring Comparative Effectiveness: Activities of NIH, FDA, and AHRQ to Advance Evidence-Based Health" (September 26, 2008); "Exploring Comparative Effectiveness: Fundamentals and Controversies of Cost-Effectiveness Analysis" (October 30, 2008); "Exploring Comparative Effectiveness: Options for Expanding U.S. Capacity" (December 17, 2008); "Exploring Comparative Effectiveness: Lessons from Across the States and Around the World" (February 27, 2009).

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