Part of U.S. stimulus bill will give money to comparison of medical treatments

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

February 18, 2009

A portion of the recently passed $787 economic stimulus bill will provide money for studying different treatments for the same illnesses, reports The New York Times. The research is being undertaken in hopes to find a way to quell the rising cost of healthcare, which in 2007 equaled $2.2 trillion, and is expected to grow. The costs associated with healthcare are seen as one of the bigger problems facing the U.S. economy. Often seen in conjunction with costs is the notion that there are many ways to treat different illnesses, without one being deemed most effective. It is hoped that this research will help the healthcare system cut down on costly prescriptions of treatments that are not proven to work as well as others.

A council of 15 federal employees will study which medications, surgeries, medical devices, and other treatments work best for treating specific conditions. Although the government has been studying medications, medical devices, and surgeries for years, it has been doing so in an effort to determine if they are safe, not whether any alternatives may exist that provide more effective treatment.

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