The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) of the US Department for Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded US$473 million in grants and contracts to support projects concerned with patient-centred outcomes or comparative effectiveness research.

The awards are part of investments made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which included a US$1.1 billion allocation for patient-centred outcomes research. Of that total, US$300 million went to the AHRQ and US$400 million was to be allocated at the discretion of the HHS Secretary for a variety of patient-centred outcomes research and related activities. Another US$400 million was directed to the US National Institutes of Health.

The funding just announced includes all of AHRQ’s allocation and US$173 million administered for the HHS Secretary by AHRQ. According to the Agency, the newly announced grants and contracts will support patient-centred outcomes research activities in a number of areas, including healthcare interventions in real-world settings, advanced use of the research findings by diverse populations, development of effective patient registries, and training/career development for the next generation of researchers.

“Patient-centred outcomes research will give patients the information they need to talk with their doctors about their options for medical treatment,” said AHRQ director Dr Carolyn Clancy. “The findings of this research also will strengthen our healthcare system by ensuring that the care that is delivered is based on the best possible evidence and informed decisions.”