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The issue of how to set priorities for comparative research and health technology assessment has long been recognized as an important one. The statute creating the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) also recognized this, describing specific factors and procedural considerations for defining national priorities for research. The question of how best to define research priorities, and whether to do so by proactively identifying specific topics or issuing broader solicitations for investigator-initiated prioritization, has been an area of ongoing debate.
Accordingly, the Partnership to Improve Patient Care (PIPC) has long advocated for PCORI to identify a clear process for defining specific research priorities, and applauded PCORI’s recent announcements to (a) establish advisory panels to help set research priorities and (b) make more of its research funding decisions based on specific priority topics. This white paper is intended to identify key elements and serve as a high-level “road map” for PCORI’s consideration in setting specific priorities for research.