PCORI Board awards $8.6 million for new study on psoriasis treatment

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The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Board of Governors today approved $8.6 million to fund a new study comparing treatment options for people with psoriasis. The Board also approved $2.75 million to support a $5 million funding opportunity in partnership with the American Heart Association (AHA) to improve the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AFib).

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that affects 6.7 million Americans. Patients often prefer ultraviolet B light therapy (UVB), because medications can have serious side effects. However, UVB typically requires treatment in a doctor's office several times a week, which can be a major burden for patients. The newly approved study, at the University of Pennsylvania, will compare the effectiveness of UVB in a doctor's office versus the same treatment delivered at home.

With this latest award, PCORI's Board has approved $1.9 billion in funding since 2012 for more than 600 patient-centered clinical comparative effectiveness research (CER) studies and related projects to enhance the methods and infrastructure that support rigorous, efficient patient-centered outcomes research.

The AFib initiative with the AHA will support efforts to develop or adapt, and then test the effectiveness of, shared decision-making tools. The tools are designed to help patients with AFib, a serious irregular heartbeat that can lead to stroke, make more-informed choices about the treatment option that might be best for them.

This project is the next phase in a partnership between PCORI and AHA that began with a crowdsourcing phase to identify research topics related to cardiovascular disease. The research funding announcement deadline for this initiative is Jan. 31.

"We are excited to continue this partnership with AHA and offer this support to help develop shared decision-making tools supported by the best available evidence in complex areas such as atrial fibrillation," said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, M.D., M.P.H. "PCORI and AHA recognize the need for tools that help patients and clinicians work together to consider the potential benefits and harms of all available treatment options and determine which is the best for them given their particular needs and preferences."

AFib is a leading cause of stroke. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates as many as 6.1 million Americans had AFib in 2010, making it the most common heart abnormality in the United States.​​

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