Capitol Hill Briefing Focuses on How Personalized Medicine Can Improve Health and Lower Overall Costs
Phone: (202) 589-1770
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC (May 25, 2011) – The Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC), in collaboration with the House Medical Technology Caucus co-chairs Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D – Calif.) held a briefing to inform members of Congress and congressional staff about personalized medicine, the tailoring of medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient in order to make health care better and more efficient.
“Health care reform raised the profile of personalized medicine on Capitol Hill but many members of Congress and congressional staffers wanted to better understand how personalized medicine can improve health outcomes, lower health care costs, and ultimately improve patient care,” said Amy Miller, Ph.D., Public Policy Director for the Personalized Medicine Coalition.
At the briefing, Stephen Eck, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President and Global Head of Medical Oncology for Astellas Pharma Global Development, discussed the science of personalized medicine and the biopharmaceutical industry’s commitment to improving health outcomes by ensuring that the right patients receive the right therapies at the right time.
“A recent study released by Tufts Center for Drug Development noted that personalized medicine products comprise between 12 and 50 percent of current drug pipelines,” he noted.
Amy Abernethy, M.D., Director of the Duke Cancer Care Research Program at Duke Cancer Institute, discussed the challenges she and other practicing oncologists face integrating new understandings of the molecular basis for disease, an ever-growing number of complex protocols for treatment decision-making, and patient's personal values and needs to determine the best treatment course for each cancer patient she encounters.
“Personalized medicine is not a vision for the future; when I see patients, they want and must get treatments that will work for them today,” she said.
Donna Cryer, J.D., CEO of CryerHealth and Chair of the American Liver Foundation’s Board of Directors, discussed the importance of ensuring that patients from different backgrounds and with different types of conditions have access to health care providers who understand the molecular basis for disease and the benefits of targeted therapies.
“Personalized medicine is the ultimate patient-centric solution, giving patients greater confidence in their diagnoses and treatment selection,” noted Cryer.
Personalized medicine refers to the classifying of individuals into subpopulations that differ in their susceptibility to a particular disease or their response to a specific treatment. It allows health care providers to know which medical interventions will work for which patients, thus sparing the expense and side effects of treatment to those who will not benefit.
“Personalized medicine addresses the issue of increasing health care costs; its further adoption should be part of any deficit-reduction strategy Congress employs,” said Brian Munroe, Founder of PMC and Head of Endo Pharmaceuticals’ Washington office.
The briefing will took place in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill.
About the Personalized Medicine Coalition
The Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC), representing scientists, patients, providers and payers, promotes the understanding and adoption of personalized medicine concepts, services and products to benefit patients and the health system. For more information on the Personalized Medicine Coalition, please visit www.PersonalizedMedicineCoalition.org.