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Doctors lobby warns against weighing cost in government-supported research

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"We seek further clarification toward the Board's intentions regarding this last component and whether this includes cost analysis," states a sign-on letter scheduled to be sent later this week to PCORI executive director Joseph Selby. "If that is the case, we do not believe that it is consistent with the PCORI's enabling statute."

The letter goes on to urge the new institute not to give short shrift to underdeveloped research areas — such as "pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine" — and to recruit members from small- and medium-sized physician practices. Generally, the AMA's letter embraces the institute's goals.

"Physicians today have access to a wide array of medical information," it states. "However, there remains far too little rigorous evidence readily available to physicians and patients when they need it most about which treatments work best for which patients."