Drugs’ comparative efficacy needed

ONE-half of all the new drugs that were introduced in the US during the past decade had no comparative effectiveness data available at the time of their approval, a study has found.

After excluding orphan drugs and those medicines where there was no alternative treatment, the availability of comparative effectiveness data increased to two-thirds.

The researchers said that such studies – which compared the effectiveness of a new drug with its rivals – could have an important role to play in aiding decision-making at a time when observational data from routine care had not yet become available and larger head-to-head trials were not yet complete.

“Comparative effectiveness is taking on an increasingly important role in US health care, yet little is known about the availability of comparative efficacy data for drugs at the time of their approval in the US,” they said. 

“Strategies are needed