Comparative Effectiveness and the “Average” Patient

Comparative effectiveness research has the potential to bring great value to the U.S. healthcare system

One of the key components of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, research evaluating the effectiveness of various therapies and medical technologies can contribute to a database of knowledge that will enhance clinical outcomes.

Even the best of ideas, though, require sound and well-conceived usage, and that’s certainly the case with comparative effectiveness research.  It’s essential that clinical effectiveness be the goal, as opposed to using this information to close off access to therapies that have value for significant numbers of patients.

That’s the subject of a forum being hosted by the National Pharmaceutical Council (the Healthcare Leadership Council is a cosponsor).  “The Myth of Average:  Why Individual Patients Matter,” will take place on November 30 in Washington, DC.   A number of expert speakers will focus on clinical differences between patients, whether those variations are the result of biology, genetics or social and environmental factors.  Optimally, this forum will shed light on the fact that there is no such thing as the “average” patient when various therapies will achieve different outcomes with different patients.

More information on the event can be found at

We all want the same thing — to deliver the right care to the right patient in the right setting at the right time.  The forum we’re privileged to cosponsor on November 30 will help illuminate how comparative effectiveness research can best help us achieve that objective.