Impact of Personalized Medicine on Patients
Developing Policies to Advance Personalized Medicine
08.06.13 | By Randy Burkholder
Last week, I highlighted a Hill briefing hosted by the Personalized Medicine Coalition and the great examples it provided of the impact of personalized medicine on patients. I was reminded why we must advocate for policies that support continued progress against disease and fulfill the promise of personalized medicine.
PMC provided an excellent starting point at the briefing, releasing a set of policy principles that offer a road map for fostering personalized medicine in a deficit-reduction environment.
As the panelists at the briefing emphasized, policy solutions must start with the patient – putting the patient at the center of decision-making, and supporting a shift in care delivery towards patient-centeredness and patient engagement.
Video highlights from the briefing panelists underscore why policy solutions like those advanced by PMC are so important – many patients continue to face significant unmet medical needs that can be effectively, efficiently met through novel targeted therapies; policy must provide adequate incentives for continued progress, recognizing the ways individual advances build on each other and understanding of an intervention’s optimal role and value evolves over time; and research and evaluation must adapt to rapid changes in clinical practice, the science of personalized medicine, and an increasingly robust “learning healthcare system.”
Below are some key, related statements from PMC’s policy principles:
“PMC believes that a deliberate and comprehensive shift away from health care based on population averages and towards patient-centered care is central to improving health care outcomes and addressing a patient’s perception of value.”
“A health system that focuses on care that is predictive, preemptive, and preventive has the potential to revolutionize health care by allowing clinicians to individualize therapy for patients through the early diagnosis of disease and risk assessment in order to optimize clinical outcomes and to better manage patients before disease symptoms appear.”
“Reform assessment tools (in particular, comparative effectiveness research and health technology assessment) to better align with emerging science and patient-centered health care.”
Coverage or reimbursement policy based on “one-size-fits-all” definitions of comparative clinical or cost effectiveness fail to recognize differences in patient needs and preferences and is misaligned with the progress in personalized medicine. This type of policy has resulted in significant barriers to access to the treatment options that are best for the individual and chills medical progress.
New payment models, such as accountable care organizations (ACOs) and bundled payments, which promote coordination and integrated care, hold potential to shift incentives to high-quality, high-value care for patients. However, if improperly designed, such models will set payment based on current standards of care and discourage advances in medical technology and medical practice
“PMC believes that there must be a continual learning system to aggregate, analyze, and apply evidence-based knowledge to patient care. PMC believes that health informatics and electronic health record (EHR) systems must be used to promote continual learning systems that will help improve patient care, reduce costs, and accelerate the process of drug development.