Personalized Medicine Coalition Announces Support for Secretary Leavitt's Personalized Health Care Initiative
Washington, D.C. — March 23, 2007 — The Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC) today hosted a keynote address by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Michael O. Leavitt in which Secretary Leavitt announced policies, investments, and next steps for the HHS Personalized Health Care Initiative.
Identified as a top HHS priority, the Personalized Health Care Initiative is designed to improve the safety, quality, and effectiveness of health care for every patient in the United States. The initiative aims to ensure that gene-based data and powerful information technology tools are combined to provide the safest and most effective solutions to each patient's individual health care needs.
"The Personalized Medicine Coalition supports the HHS Personalized Health Care Initiative. This initiative focuses on building a system that can deliver the best possible medical outcomes for patients by providing information to help clinicians and patients choose more optimal therapeutic approaches," said Edward Abrahams, Ph.D., Executive Director, Personalized Medicine Coalition. "Personalized medicine offers the possibility of improving health while also providing the potential to make health care more cost-effective by introducing efficiencies into the system."
Since its inception in 2004, the PMC has been a collaborative effort among the academic, industrial, patient, provider, and payer communities, and has sought to advance the understanding and adoption of personalized medicine concepts and products for the benefit of patients.
"We are deeply appreciative of the leadership and vision shown by Secretary Leavitt as he makes personalized health care a national priority, and we support his programs with great enthusiasm and resolve," said Wayne Rosenkrans, Jr., Ph.D., Scientific & Medical Strategy Director, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, and President and Chairman of the Personalized Medicine Coalition.
Though sometimes described as a phenomenon of the future, personalized medicine is already having an impact on how patients are treated. Molecular testing is being used to identify breast cancer patients and colon cancer patients who are likely to benefit from new treatments. In addition, newly diagnosed patients with early-stage invasive breast cancer can now be tested for the likelihood of recurrence. In another example, a genetic test for patients with an inherited cardiac condition can help their doctors determine which course of hypertension treatment to prescribe in order to avoid serious side effects.
Personalized medicine may change the way treatments are discovered and used, but the pathway to the development of personalized medicine is marked by the need to identify and address a range of public policy issues. These include fair and equitable reimbursement for diagnostic tests that encourage their development, speedy enactment of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and new programs to educate health care providers about new molecular-based approaches.
At the PMC event today, the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society distributed its just-released draft report, Realizing the Promise of Pharmacogenomics: Opportunities and Challenges, for public comment. The draft report highlights the steps that can be taken to facilitate the incorporation of pharmacogenomic test data into health care practice, a cornerstone of the Personalized Health Care Initiative. The report can be downloaded at: http://oba.od.nih.gov/oba/SACGHS/reports/SACGHS_PGx_report.pdf. The Committee is seeking public comments on the draft report until June 1, 2007.
The Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society also released at the PMC event its final report, Policy Issues Associated with Undertaking a New Large U.S. Population Cohort Study of Genes, Environment, and Disease, which identifies five policy areas (research policy; research logistics; regulatory and ethical considerations; public health, social, and economic implications; and public engagement) that require further analysis prior to undertaking a new large population study in the United States. The report can be downloaded at: http://oba.od.nih.gov/oba/sacghs/reports/SACGHS_LPS_report.pdf.
About the Personalized Medicine Coalition
The Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC), representing a broad spectrum of academic, industrial, patient, provider, and payer communities, seeks to advance the understanding and adoption of personalized medicine concepts and products for the benefit of patients. For more information on the Personalized Medicine Coalition, please visit www.PersonalizedMedicineCoalition.org.
Feinstein Kean Healthcare