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The Limits of Comparative Effectiveness Research

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tomas J. Philipson and Eric Sun, respectively of the University of Chicago and Stanford University, have produced a report for the Manhattan Institute entitled "Blue Pill or Red Pill: The Limits of Comparative Effectiveness Research." Their report explains the fallacy of the over-reliance by President Obama and PPACA on comparative effectiveness research (CER) to reduce costs. The President's logic suggests that if, on average, the "blue pill" is as effective for the average patient as the "red pill" and cheaper that the correct course of treatment should be the blue pill. The problem is, as the Executive Summary for Philipson and Sun's report states, "the average patient is not the same as any particular individual patient. Declaring a treatment most effective based on an average is a medical and an economic error, for two reasons."


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