PhRMA-Funded Think Tank: CER Will Cost Money and Lives

Comparative effectiveness research would put the brakes on medical innovation and prevent many groundbreaking drugs from ever being invented,” said Robert Goldberg, a CMPI vice president and one of the study’s co-authors….

The study also predicts that CER would collectively cost America 34 million years of life, $1.7 trillion over the first decade of its implementation and $4 trillion over the longer term.

See news story and PhRMA connection. Of course, this wouldn’t be a problem if we didn’t have PhRMA-funded ObamaCare.

Comments (8)

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  1. Nancy says:

    John, I like your last dig. It is richly deserved.

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    It isn’t uncommon to have trade associations fund the work of reputable scholars. The key is the scholars must persistently maintain the integrity of their work and not bow to pressure from their benefactors. Otherwise, the scholars develop the reputations as shills for the industry. Word quickly gets out.

  3. John R. Graham says:

    Yes, I certainly appreciated the last “dig” and I shake my head at the irony of PhRMA funding research designed to push back key elements of a law for which PhRMA lobbied and invested. I doubt that Obamacare would have passed without PhRMA’s support. If PhRMA had resisted Obamacare, the threat of Comparative-Effectiveness Research (CER) would not be nearly as great as it is today.

    But that is water under the bridge. IMHO, Vernon & Goldberg have written a very good paper. Deriving a point estimate from one factor in a function that has many factors is obviously risky, but they have used scholarly sources appropriately. And they are obviously trying to have an impact on public policy so they communicated their findings in such a way as to generate as much “heat” as possible.

    Isn’t that why we are in think tanks and not academic departments at universities? So that our research has impact in the real world and not just in articles in scholarly journals that few read?

    If we are going to challenge people solely based on where they get their funding, without considering the work, then we must logically accept only research by amateur gentlemen who do if for free! I don’t think anyone fits that bill.

    Even if we think the point estimate derived by Vernon & Goldberg is overconfident, it complements a principle that we champion: CER cannot be effectively achieved by a centralized bureaucracy. CER can only be effective when millions of patients, prescribers, scientists, and entrepreneurs are trying new medicines free of central control.

  4. Jeff says:

    John Graham, you are too kind. Too kind to PhRMA that is.

  5. Larry says:

    Unfortunately, for the drug companies to get what they deserve, the rest of us are going to get what we don’t deserve.

  6. Rusty W says:

    Chickens come home to roost.

  7. Peter Pitts says:

    FYI — our new CER study was not done with any industry (or industry association) funding.

    Peter Pitts

  8. Bob Goldberg says:

    I am sad to see that you attempted to besmirch the credibility of our report by noting that we receive some support from Phrma. We have received such funding on an unrestricted basis and apart from the fact that Phrma noted did not fund the study, we are pleased to be a recipient of support not only from Phrma but also from other individual companies and foundations that have also supported NCPA in the past. I am sure none of your sources — including ExxonMobil would appreciate you making the claim that their support means you are bought and paid for by them or other funding entities. Are your reports and analyses — or those of any other think tank — to be taken any less seriously because of who you receive funding from?

    I hope that in the future you will discuss our studies — three of which have been published in peer-reviewed journals — on the merits. I am always open to comment, criticism and robust debate.