While the U.S. spends vast amounts of money each year on drug discovery and development, Aaron Carroll, Indiana University School of Medicine professor of pediatrics, says the process falls short on answering two big questions:
- How do the new treatments stack up against existing ones?
- What are the personal benefits and detriments?
Carroll in a write up published Aug. 20 on the New York Times says those questions are best answered through comparative effectiveness research.
“Consider antibiotics,” he writes. “In my work as a pediatrician, questions about their use come up a lot. Which drug is the best first-line therapy for which common illnesses? We don’t know. How long should we treat for different infections? We don’t know. What are the relative trade-offs between benefits and side effects in different patients in different circumstances? We don’t know.”
Through CER, however, researchers can find alternative solutions to a broad range of issues, including the impacts of lifestyle interventions for weight loss, Carroll writes.
Read Carroll’s full write up on the New York Times by clicking here.