Clinical research provides health care providers with information on the natural history of disease, clinical presentations of disease, and diagnostic and treatment options. Consumers, patients, and caregivers also require this information to decide how to evaluate and treat their conditions. Comparative effectiveness research (CER) is a way to identify what works for which patients under what circumstances. Congress, in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, appropriated $1.1 billion to jump-start the nation's efforts to accelerate CER. ARRA tasked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to recommend national priorities for research questions to be addressed by CER and supported by ARRA funds.
The ARRA called on the IOM to recommend a list of priority topics to be the initial focus of a new national investment in comparative effectiveness research. The IOM's recommendations are contained in the report, Initial National Priorities for Comparative Effectiveness Research.
The specific charge to the IOM was to develop a list of high priority research questions for CER to address. The first step was to consult stakeholders. As one of these stakeholder groups, Autism Speaks made its recommendations regarding studies on comparative effectiveness of autism treatments to the Agency for Quality Health Research. One of these recommendations has been included in the top 100 priorities for CER funding. View the report and priorities list by clicking on the images/links below.