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Using Indirect Evidence to Determine the Comparative Effectiveness of Prescription Drugs Do benefits outweigh risks?

Using Indirect Evidence to Determine the Comparative Effectiveness of Prescription Drugs Do benefits outweigh risks?

Health Outcomes Research in Medicine 2(4)

Healthcare decision-makers rarely have the appropriate evidence to evaluate the comparative clinical effectiveness of new and existing prescription drugs. In the absence of head-to-head trials comparing all available drugs, indirect comparisons of randomized trials can offer a valuable approach to investigators evaluating the comparative effect of multiple drugs. Indirect comparisons, particularly methods that allow the combination of direct and indirect evidence obtained from randomized trials, can assist in identifying which of multiple prescription drugs works better than others. In this paper, we discuss the benefits and risks of using indirect evidence and make the case in favor of its wider use within the comparative effectiveness research efforts in the United States. We further argue that the use of indirect comparisons should be pursued in cases where trials comparing the interventions of interest are available.

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Accession: 036246705

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DOI: 10.1016/j.ehrm.2011.10.001

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