Comparative effectiveness research (CER) has captured the attention of the clinical and research communities and the public. Although various definitions of CER have been promulgated, the common element is the “direct comparison of existing health care interventions, using a variety of data sources and measurement methods to determine which interventions carry the greatest benefits and harms for which patients.”1 Ultimately, the purpose of the evidence generated by CER is “to assist consumers, clinicians, purchasers, and policy makers to make informed decisions that will improve health care at both the individual and population levels.”2
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