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The Devil is in the Details: CMS To Flesh Out Committee's Research Role

This article was originally published in RPM Report

Executive Summary

CMS plans to be more open about how the Medicare coverage advisory committee will score research priorities after comments from industry. Stakeholders know the process won't any easier after Election Day.

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Orthopedic device manufacturers are out ahead of the drug industry in adapting to new payment disclosure laws. One company, Stryker, has embraced the requirement wholeheartedly and may have found a way to make the listing a benefit to doctors and patients.

Medicare research priorities

The Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee will convene April 30 in Baltimore, Md., to discuss priorities for research topics important to the Medicare program. The meeting is a follow-up to MedCAC's Oct. 22 meeting on the issue (1"The Gray Sheet" Nov. 12, 2007, p. 8)

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A greater investment in comparative effectiveness research appears inevitable, whether or not Congress creates a federally funded agency to conduct head-to-head trials. The Vytorin debacle is only the most recent reason why industry is wary. But there are steps pharma can take to prepare for the next big thing in health care policy. Despite Vytorin, Merck is one of the companies leading the way.

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