NIH’s Kathy Hudson Outlines Potential PMI Implications of 2016 Appropriations Decisions
PMC’s briefing on Capitol Hill yesterday emphasized the importance of personalized medicine as the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee assesses its own priorities in medical innovation following the passage of the “21st Century Cures” bill in the House, with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) leading the way in advocating for funding of personalized medicine research initiatives.
“Precision medicine got a lift from the president talking about it in the State of the Union, but we need to continue on that,” Klobuchar told the standing-room only crowd of more than 125, which included more than 50 Hill staffers. “We need to increase the money we invest in research.”
Many of the panelists echoed Sen. Klobuchar’s emphasis on research funding.
Foundation Medicine CEO Michael Pellini, M.D., noted that the personalized medicine era is inevitable. But how quickly we get there, he said, depends on favorable public policies, especially in reimbursement, which he said is particularly challenging because decisions are often decentralized at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
For her part, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Deputy Director for Science, Outreach and Policy Kathy Hudson said the agency plans to begin building a volunteer cohort that will enable research to explore the molecular underpinnings of disease in the beginning of the fiscal year, as part of President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI). She did add, however, that the initiative will have to move slower if lawmakers decide to pass a continuing resolution extending fiscal year 2015 funding levels. In that case, she said, the initiative would likely begin with funding opportunity announcements, instead of the development of the cohort.
The briefing was co-hosted by PMC and Sens. Klobuchar and Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Designed to provide an overview of what personalized medicine is and why it is important, it also featured comments from Stephanie Haney, a stage IV lung cancer patient, Keith Stewart, M.B., Ch.B., director of Mayo Clinic‘s Center for Individualized Medicine, and Greg Keenan, M.D., vice president of medical affairs and U.S. head medical officer at AstraZeneca. Amy M. Miller, Ph.D., PMC executive vice president, moderated the discussion.
The fact sheet below was distributed to the event’s attendees.
Personalized Medicine Coalition