The call for an entity for independent assessment and guidance on alternative medical interventions is timely. The emergence of four developments underscores the importance and sets the stage for progress: an improving evidence base; growing recognition of the importance of variation in the effectiveness of treatments across patients; recent emphasis on transparency; and growing adoption of pay-for-performance initiatives. To advance progress on these issues, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has convened a Roundtable on Evidence-based Medicine. The roundtable is exploring ways to improve the development of evidence, the thoroughness with which it is applied, and the mechanisms for increasing national capacity for the work.
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