"You hear the pitch in drug ads all the time: 'Ask your doctor if this medication is right for you,'" reports MSNBC
. However, evidence to show whether a treatment is appropriate for a given patient is often scarce. Matching therapies to patients is further complicated by vast difference in how people respond to medicines. However, a national push for so-called comparative effectiveness research could make that job easier. The economic stimulus package includes $1 billion to support the research.
But, it's not entirely new. Already, 28 research centers funded by the government's Agency for Health care Research and Quality (AHRQ) have produced a wealth of findings on treatments for many common, chronic conditions. MSNBC outlines some preventive steps and drug treatments for common illnesses that are supported by the evidence. For instance, African-Americans may consider combination therapies that include diuretics and drugs for high blood pressure (Laliberte, 7/22).