NCCAM advisory council focuses on outcomes, effectiveness, cost at June 3, 2011 meeting The real world portion of the 2011 2015 strategic plan of National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) was a principal focus of the June 3,

NCCAM advisory council focuses on outcomes, effectiveness, cost at June 3, 2011 meeting   

The real world portion of the 2011-2015 strategic plan of National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) was a principal focus of the June 3, 2011 meeting of the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Presentations and speakers were:

  • Outcomes and Effectiveness Research at NCCAM (Josephine Briggs, MD)
  • Science to improve the Nation’s Health: The Case for Comparative Effectiveness Research (Michael Lauer, MD) 
  • Cost Minimization Analyses and Washington State’s Approach to Funding CAM (William Lafferty, MD)
  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the Department of Veterans Affairs (Stephen Ezeji-Okoye, MD)

The NACCAM meeting was the first since the February 2011 release of NCCAM’s 2011-2015 Strategic Plan.

Comment: This is an excellent signal of the importance of the “real world” to NIH and to NCCAM in the Briggs era. Outcomes and effectiveness, while mandated as top focus in the NCCAM enabling law from Congress, only accounted for 0.5%-2% of funding under first NCCAM director Stephen Straus, MD. This direction was elevated to Strategic Priority #3 in the 2011-2015 plan, with elements potentially in #1 and #2 also. Kudos to Briggs and her staff for this prioritization. If NCCAM wants to influence access and discover whether these integrative disciplines and approaches can make a difference in changing our typically dismal churning of reactive treatment, this is the way to go.