Something called precision medicine, in some cases people call it personalized medicine, gives us one of the greatest opportunities for new medical breakthroughs that we have ever seen.
– President Barack Obama (Jan. 30, 2015)
With these words, President Obama turned the eyes of the public toward the emerging field of personalized medicine. Last week, the House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures bill, which contains several provisions designed to accelerate personalized medicine’s progress, and the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee is now examining the issue through the lens of its Innovation for Healthier Americans initiative.
With the issue clearly on the radar for U.S. policymakers, the office of Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) invited the Personalized Medicine Coalition to organize the upcoming Hill briefing scheduled for July 16, 2015 from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. ET. The event is co-hosted by Orrin Hatch (R-UT), a long-time champion of personalized medicine, and will feature a panel of experts representing patients, health care providers, government and the biopharmaceutical and diagnostics industries.
Against the backdrop of the Russell Senate Office Building’s awe-inspiring Kennedy Caucus Room, Stephanie Haney will kick off the conversation by explaining how personalized medicine has assisted in her eight-year battle with stage IV lung cancer. Keith Stewart, the director of Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine, will follow with a description of what personalized is and why it is so important. Industry representatives Greg Keenan of AstraZeneca and Michael Pellini of Foundation Medicine will then provide an explanation of the development challenges applicable to the field, and Kathy Hudson of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will discuss how the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative will contribute.
As I look forward to the event, I cannot help but get excited. Policymakers have demonstrated a renewed interest in regulatory issues at FDA following the release of the agency’s framework for regulating laboratory diagnostic tests, and alternative payment models are clearly becoming a priority for the Department of Health and Human Services. The briefing is a powerful opportunity to demonstrate how we can incentivize the development of a more efficient health system by incorporating the personalized medicine perspective into all regulatory and reimbursement decisions. Doing so will ultimately improve the lives of patients across the country. That is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss.
Amy M. Miller, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President
Personalized Medicine Coalition