Individual differences matter when making treatment decisions

A conference hosted by the National Pharmaceutical Council examines the many factors that go into individual treatment decisions.

When many options are available – medicines, devices, surgery, lifestyle changes – how do doctors and patients decide what is the right course of treatment for that one person at that time? What role do treatment guidelines, research, personal preferences and other factors play in these important decisions? What role should these factors play in determining how treatment options are covered through health insurance?

These questions and others will be examined at a meeting convened by the National Pharmaceutical Council on Friday, November 30 in Washington, DC. The conference, “The Myth of Average—Why Individual Patient Differences Matter,” will explore the role and challenges of individual treatment effects in developing treatment recommendations, practice guidelines, and coverage and reimbursement policies for patients. It is being sponsored by the National Pharmaceutical Council, the National Health Council and WellPoint, as well as 17 other patient, provider and health care organizations.

This conference comes at a critical time in determining how comparative effectiveness research (CER) will be conducted and implemented. As we’ve discussed here, CER studies examine how different types of treatments compare in improving patient health outcomes.

Through a series of expert panels, the conference will address questions about how to balance findings from CER research with the needs of the individual patient. Panelists also will examine how CER might shape future patient care and coverage models being considered by policy leaders and payers.

For more information and to register, please visit There is no charge to attend.