National Alliance on Mental Illness
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NAMI Comments on Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) Priorities

April 29, 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes $1.1 billion to undertake Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER).  These funds will be allocated to NIH and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to conduct studies comparing two or more therapies for a given medical condition.  Specifically, the new law allocates $400 million for the NIH and $300 million for AHRQ, and an additional $400 million at the discretion of the HHS Secretary – all for new CER grants.  Some of this will be clinical trials comparing 2 or more treatments for specific disease or medical condition, while some will be for analyzing existing studies (including NIMH sponsored trials for treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression). 

As part of this effort, the new law directed the HHS Secretary to contract with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to produce a report setting forth recommendations for priority setting for how this $1.1 billion investment should be directed.  On March 20, the IOM panel developing this report held a public hearing at which NAMI offered specific recommendations.  Click here to view NAMI’s statement to the IOM priorities for CER.