I've been getting e-mailings recently about a conference to be held in Washington, on July 22, called "Delivering on Patient-Centered CER" (Comparative Effectiveness Research). This is sponsored by the group, Partnership to Improve Patient Care (www.ImprovePatientCare.org). No less a light than Sen. Max Baucus will be a keynote speaker.
This conference will bear close watching for reasons that I have previously posted about (http://brodyhooked.blogspot.com/2009/05/stealth-campaign-to-shanghai-ce.html). PIPC is funded in part with Pharma money and in part by medical specialty societies such as the American College of Cardiology, whose motto is, "Do all the CER you want so long as you don't take away any procedures that bring profits into the coffers of cardiologists." (The ACC's CEO is also one of the featured speakers at this conference.) Their clear agenda is to steer CER away from any research that would actually be used to save money in patient care, and hence cut into corporate or specialist profits. By pushing the language on CER that was in the Senate version of the health reform bill (instead of the House language which was more friendly to real cost containment and kept industry out of the CER picture) , Sen Baucus did a signal service to this "partnership," and will no doubt be appropriately thanked at the conference.
With these kinds of foxes watching over them, I am sure that the CER hens will sleep more comfortably at night.