The new Agency for Health Care Policy and Research in the U.S. Public Health Service is funding a set of multidisciplinary groups called Patient Outcomes Research Teams (PORTs). Their purpose is to assess alternative treatments for medical conditions using a variety of outcome measures. In guiding insurance coverage, these PORTs are expected to wield considerable influence on medical practice and health policy.
This book addresses possible threats to their credibility that might be based on real or apparent conflicts of interest, including both financial and other conflicts. It raises points to consider for the new agency, for PORTs and their institutions, for industry, for the health services research community, and for the U.S. Congress in avoiding and managing conflicts of interest.