Demand Unbiased Medical Research

A disease diagnosis can be terrifying. Especially when we don't have enough information to choose the best way to treat the disease.

Our nation spends $2 trillion annually on health care, but we don't spend it very well. The medical research available to your doctor--often funded by drug companies, device manufacturers and other self-interested parties--is notoriously incomplete.

Congress has set aside $30 million for unbiased research comparing treatments--research that could save billions and improve your results. But that's a drop in the bucket.

Studies already conducted on treatments for depression, prostate cancer and high blood pressure are expected to help save our nation countless dollars and lives.

Tell Congress to increase the budget for this critical, independent research to make sure we can give patients and doctors the best information about treatments for diabetes, cancer, heart disease and other major debilitating conditions.

Dear [Decision Maker],

One way to help lower health care costs and improve our nation's health is to make sure we know which treatments work best from prescription drugs to medical devices to procedures like surgery. To help us begin to get the best care for the best value, I urge you to support $50 million in the 2009 budget for comparative effectiveness research at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Comparative effectiveness research -- which evaluates the relative safety and effectiveness of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, medical procedures and other interventions used to treat the same conditions holds great promise for improving the quality of our health care. Not only can this research help physicians better treat patients, it also can prevent inappropriate or ineffective care, saving countless lives and dollars.

In 2003 Congress authorized $50 million annually for this research when it passed the Medicare Modernization Act, but it has yet to fulfill that commitment. Last year Congress committed $30 million for this program, and AHRQ has studied 12 treatment options, including breast cancer, depression, prostate cancer and high blood pressure.

I urge you to continue to build and expand this important research by providing $50 million in the FY 2009 budget to make sure this program reaches its full potential.

When I go to my doctor, I want to make sure he or she knows what treatments provide me the best care for the best value. By fully funding comparative effectiveness research, Congress can begin to improve our nation's health and lower costs. Thank you for considering this request.

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