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New fee coming for medical effectiveness research
New federal fee on health insurers will help pay for head-to-head tests of medical treatments
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' The government will be charging a new fee to health insurance plans next year for research to see which drugs, tests and treatments work best.

The fee is a little-known provision of President Barack Obama's health care law. The goal of the research is to answer basic questions like whether a new prescription drug advertised on TV actually works better than an old generic that costs much less.

But in the politically charged health care environment, skeptics wonder how the government will use this kind of research on medical effectiveness.

Dr. Joe Selby heads the new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. He says his goal is to provide useful information for patients and doctors ' not to restrict insurance coverage.

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