In the latest effort to help Americans make sense of President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), several leaders in the field contributed articles to an insert on the topic that was published digitally and distributed in print with 250,000 copies of USA Today on June 26, 2015.
The insert featured an introduction from PMC President Edward Abrahams and columns from National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell. Collectively, the articles make the case that the PMI is a timely and promising effort to move medicine toward a new paradigm.
In their columns, which appeared on the first three pages of the insert, Abrahams and Collins identified and described the trends that have paved the way for the PMI. Collins noted recent developments including the advent of affordable DNA sequencing, the availability of new techniques for evaluating risks associated with environmental exposure and the emergence of powerful new tools for processing data. Abrahams observed that these trends have led to an increased commitment to personalized medicine on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry, with 42 percent of all drugs in development now classified as targeted therapies. Collins finished his article by contending that there is “no better time than now” to begin this effort.
Burwell’s article, which followed those of Abrahams and Collins, put these promising trends in perspective. She described meeting a stage IV breast cancer patient in California who began participating in a clinical trial for a new class of targeted therapies. The patient has been cancer-free since August of 2013.
Personalized Medicine Coalition