ICER Assesses Cost-Effectiveness of Trained Service Dogs for Veterans with PTSD

September 2, 2020

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) commissioned the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) to assess the cost-effectiveness of service dogs trained in tasks related to relieving post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans. In a  randomized clinical trial, investigators compared outcomes for veterans with PTSD who were randomized to receive a specially trained service dog or an emotional support dog. Key findings from the study will be presented to the National Academy of Medicine in 2021.

“PTSD causes tremendous suffering and presents a significant challenge to veterans and the VA health system,” said Steven D. Pearson, MD, MSc, ICER’s President. “Like all health systems, understanding the evidence on comparative clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness can help the VA assure that the most effective treatments are selected and that prices are negotiated to maximize benefits while remaining financially responsible. We are proud to contribute to the evidenced-based approach that the VA is taking and look forward to gathering input from affected patients and other stakeholders to ensure that our analysis is rooted in the context of the patient experience.”

ICER welcomes input from all interested stakeholders and a complete timeline for this initiative can be found on the ICER website. Submit comments to by 5 p.m. ET on October 2, 2020 to be considered. Read more here.

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