Blog posts from Richard Kronick, Ph.D., and other AHRQ leaders
AHRQ Provides Evidence on Drugs in CMS Dashboard
In a time of increasing health care costs, information based on research and evidence is a critical component of improving decisions at every level of health care. AHRQ is at the forefront of efforts to supply that information, both for individuals, health systems, and our Federal partners.
Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took the important step of publishing an online resource that provides valuable information on Medicare drug spending. CMS launched the Medicare Drug Spending Dashboard(PDF File, 40 KB) as part of its efforts to provide additional information, increase transparency and address the affordability of prescription drugs. The dashboard, which includes information about drugs covered by Medicare Parts B and D, identifies medications that represent high costs per user and for the Medicare program, as well as those drugs that have recently increased in cost.
As noted in a blog authored by Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt and CMS Chief Data Officer Niall Brennan, other entities—including AHRQ—complement these data by providing meaningful information to help consumers in health care decisionmaking. AHRQ's Evidence-based Practice Center Program (EPC), for example, has developed numerous research reviews that have synthesized evidence on the effectiveness and harms of medication options for a variety of conditions.
For instance, an EPC review that compared treatments for anemia in cancer patients included information about the impact of therapies on anemia, the need for transfusion, clotting episodes, survival, and quality of life. The information about the available options and how they compare with each other or compare to no treatment, as well as an assessment of the quality and strength of the evidence augments the CMS dashboard's information about spending on epoetin and darbepoetin, and assists patients and clinicians in making better informed health care decisions.
Page last reviewed December 2015