Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), formerly known as the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, is one of twelve agencies within the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The agency began as the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research and was tasked with producing guidelines. However, it became controversial when it produced several guidelines which would reduce medical drugs and procedures. This included concern from ophthalmologists on a cataract guideline and concern by the pharmaceutical industry over a reduction in the use of new drugs. When the agency produced a guideline which concluded that back pain surgery was unnecessary and potentially harmful, a lobbying campaign aided by Congressmen whose backs had been operated on changed the name of the agency and "wound down" the guidelines program.
The 2015 budget for AHRQ is US$440 million.
- Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999
- Avorn J. Powerful Medicines: The Benefits, Risks, and Costs of Prescription Drugs, pp. 277–288. Random House.
- 2015 Department of Health and Human Services Budget-in-Brief, pg 10, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Accessed 2015-07-14