Comments on CBO Blog Post: “A Call for New Research in the Area of Obesity”

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Editor’s note: The attached comment letter was submitted to the Congressional Budget Office on Nov. 2, 2023.

Schaeffer Center fellows commented on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)’s October 5, 2023 blog post “A Call for New Research in the Area of Obesity.” The researchers make the following points:

  • There are serious limitations and biases of current real-world data on anti-obesity medications (AOMs), including the non-randomized and incomplete nature of the data set, the short-term use of the newest drugs in the insurance market, and unobservable variables that could impact outcomes.
  • A simulation approach would be the best method for producing unbiased estimates of the value of current and future AOM treatments.
  • Existing evidence on price trajectories, take-up and adherence could help address remaining analysis gaps.

They argue that while there are significant data and methodological challenges to be overcome, there are better alternatives to simplistically extrapolating from the real-world data on AOM use that is currently available. 

Read the full comment letter here.

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