Letter from the Editor

Contributed by:

Taren Grom, Editor

NOTE: The content below contains the first few paragraphs of the printed article and the titles of the sidebars and boxes, if applicable.

Making Medicine Personal

During the 10th Annual State of Personalized Medicine Luncheon hosted by the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC) in March, Edward Abrahams, president of PMC stated: “As our understanding of individual variation continues to develop, personalized medicine products must overcome three challenges before patients can benefit. In the United States, they must pass regulatory muster at either CMS or FDA, be covered and paid for, and be adopted by practicing clinicians.”

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology defines personalized medicine as “the tailoring of medical treatment to the specific characteristics of each patient.” This includes the ability to classify individuals into subpopulations who are susceptible to a particular disease or responsive to a specific treatment.

There are now more than 85 companion diagnostics on the market and more than 500 clinically relevant biomarkers, according to the FDA. Patients with melanoma, metastatic lung, breast, or brain cancers, and leukemia are now being routinely offered a molecular diagnosis to allow their physicians to select tailored treatments.

During the PMC annual conference, which was attended by innovators, patients, scientists, and government officials devoted to the understanding and improvement of healthcare, Patrick Conway, M.D., deputy administrator for innovation and quality and chief medical officer, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), outlined his perspective on the state of personalized medicine and where it is headed.
Dr. Conway outlined seven key areas to operationalize personalized medicine to bring about true innovation:
• Focus on better health, better care, and lower costs
• Test new models of care delivery and payment
• Recognize that the era of personalized medicine enables improved patient outcomes
• Tailor interventions to appropriate patient segments
• Value innovation and cover and pay appropriately for interventions that improve patient outcomes
• Remove barriers to personalized medicine and catalyze transformation focused on patient-centered care
• Relentlessly pursue improving health outcomes Personalized medicine is the future of medicine.

Personalized medicine is the future of medicine. It will become standard in every hospital, clinic, and medical practice, supported by electronic records, decision support systems, and tests that analyze disease for specific genetic markers.

With the U.S. market for predictive personalized drugs expected to double, ­increasing from $9.2 billion in 2013 to $18.2 billion in 2019, it’s no wonder companies are interested in discovering and developing medicines that are much more targeted and personalized to specific sub-classes of patients.

At its root medicine should be personal, and there is an exciting future ahead bolstered by technology and scientific breakthroughs.

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