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New Effort Reopens a Medical Minefield

By Barry Meier , A back-pain researcher, Dr. Richard Deyo recalls the uproar the last time federal officials tried to suggest how doctors should practice their profession.

It was in the mid-1990s, when Dr. Deyo helped develop federal guidelines urging surgeons not to perform spinal fusions to treat acute pain. The reason was simple: There was little evidence that the fusions worked in many patients.

Power for patients: Comparative effectiveness research will help people make better health choices

By Ruth Faden and Jonathan D. Moreno, It's a name only a policy wonk could love: comparative effectiveness research. But get ready to hear a lot about it; it could save your rights as a patient - and maybe even your life.

 If opponents have their way, it could be the bogeyman that brings down health care reform. 

 Using false and misleading scare tactics, Conservatives for Patients Rights, a group opposed to comprehensive health care reform, announced last week a $1 million ad attacking comparative effectiveness.

Sebelius Confirmation Expected Today

By Shailagh Murray, The Senate began debate this morning on the nomination of Kathleen Sebelius to head the Department of Health and Human Services, with Democrats

New York Times- Health Care Reform, Step One

EDITORIAL, The Senate has a not-to-be-missed opportunity in the next few weeks to pass legislation giving the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate tobacco products.

 It should move quickly — during the brief period of calm before the senators must grapple with health care reform and other difficult issues.

New York Times- Advances Elusive in the Long Drive to Cure Cancer

By Gina Kolata, In 1971, flush with the nation’s success in putting a man on the Moon, President Richard M. Nixon announced a new goal. Cancer would be cured by 1976, the bicentennial.

When 1976 came and went, the date for a cure, or at least substantial progress, kept being put off. It was going to happen by 2000, then by 2015.

CQ- ‘White Paper’ Aims to Shape Treatment Comparison Agenda

By John Reichard, A policy paper released Monday by a group representing a variety of players in the health care system aims to persuade federal policy makers that they must preserve innovation

as a primary goal in decisions on how to spend $1.1 billion in funds allotted by the economic stimulus law () for comparing various approaches to treating medical conditions.

Washington Post- Local, State Agencies Lack Resources to Ensure Food Safety

Congress Must Fix System, Report Says, By Lyndsey Layton, Local and state health officials trying to prevent food illness outbreaks are stymied by scarce resources,

 weak leadership from the federal government and bureaucratic barriers, according to a new study public health experts released yesterday.

Comparative effectiveness research panel holds first session

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A newly formed federal council held its first meeting here today, a listening session in which members were told by various interest groups how the government should best spend $1.1 billion

 to advance research that compares the effectiveness of various medical treatments.

Wall Street Jounral- Push to Compare Treatments Worries Drug, Device Makers Article

By Jane hang, WASHINGTON -- Federal health-care agencies are getting $1.1 billion in economic-stimulus funds

 for research comparing the effectiveness of various treatments. But  drug and medical-device makers, along with some members of Congress, say they are worried the findings will be used to limit patients' options.

Washington Post- Obama Makes Health Reform Office Official

By Ceci Connolly, One month after its director began work, President Obama made it official today: There's a new White House Office of Health Reform.