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M.S. in Comparative Effectiveness Research

Health care spending in the United States exceeds all other countries yet data are mixed regarding the value obtained for the amount of money spent. Contributing to this is the lack of evidence comparing one intervention to another in the actual practice. The new field of comparative effectiveness research (CER) offers a solution.


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Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) is the “conduct and synthesis of research comparing the benefits and harms of different interventions and strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat and monitor health conditions in real world settings.  The purpose of CER is to improve health outcomes by developing and disseminating evidence-based information to patients, clinicians, and other decision-makers, and responding to their expressed needs about which interventions are most effective for which patients under specific circumstances. CER seeks to make the selection of therapeutic options (by patients, their caregivers, clinicians, and policy makers) more informed – resulting in better decisions and ultimately improved health outcomes.

The aim of the masters program is to provide individuals with the skills and knowledge relevant to conducting comparative effectiveness research for application in the pharmaceutical and health care industries.  It is designed primarily for individuals already working in a pharmaceutical or medical product company, government agency, or in a health care provider organization, who would like to become competent in this new area of research.  The program will be 100% online, making it convenient and accessible for working professionals.

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