Comparative Effectiveness

Christopher Price

Christopher P. Price, MA, PhD, DSc,

October 2008



Comparative effectiveness has been on the health care agenda for a number of years, the most recent legislation being the passing of the Comparative Effectiveness Research Act 2008, designed to improve the quality of health care that Americans receive, by creating national priorities for, and conducting and distributing research findings on the effectiveness of different health care treatments. The focus of comparative effectiveness studies is on improving outcomes. This initiative changes the emphasis for laboratory medicine away from diagnostic accuracy, which equates to efficacy, toward improving outcomes, which equates more to effectiveness. This presentation explains the background to comparative effectiveness and compares it with evidence-based laboratory medicine, then going on to discuss the implications for generating evidence of effectiveness and how the evidence is used. 


Dr. Christopher Price is Visiting Professor in Clinical Biochemistry at the University of Oxford and works as an independent consultant. Prior to this he was the Vice President of Outcomes Research for the Diagnostics Division of Bayer HealthCare, and before that he was Professor of Clinical Biochemistry at the London Hospital (later to merge with St. Bartholomew’s) Medical School. He was also the Head of Clinical Biochemistry and the Director of Pathology at the associated teaching hospital. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry. 

Dr. Price has been both Chairman and President of the Association for Clinical Biochemistry in the UK, as well as chair of the Association’s Education Committee. He has been on the Board of Directors of AACC, as well as on the Organizing Committees of the Oak Ridge Conference, the 2005 AACC Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, the Nominations Committee, and he is currently a member of AACC’s Evidence-Based Medicine Committee.

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