Aims: To develop principles for planning and conducting comparative effectiveness research (CER).
Methods: Beginning with a modified existing list of health technology assessment principles, we developed a set of CER principles using literature review, engagement of multiple experts and broad stakeholder feedback.
Results & conclusion: Thirteen principles and actions to fulfill their intent are proposed. Principles include clarity of objectives, transparency, engagement of stakeholders, consideration of relevant perspectives, use of relevant comparators, and evaluation of relevant outcomes and treatment heterogeneity. Should these principles be found appropriate and useful, CER studies should be audited for adherence to them and monitored for their impact on care management, patient relevant outcomes and clinical guidelines.