Education, Raising Awareness and Reducing Test Turnaround Time Increases Number of Patients Treated with New Targeted Therapy
Peter Keeling, CEO of Diaceutics, gives his reaction to the recent announcement by President Obama that $215 million is to be invested in a new precision medicine initiative in the United States.
Few events over the past decade will have triggered as many acres of text as President Obama’s announcement on a $215 million fund to further the cause of precision (or personalized) medicine . Across the numerous blogs, tweets and journal coverage as diverse as the WSJ, Forbes, the New Yorker, the Boston Business Journal and Genomeweb, the reception is….well, mixed. Like so much about Obama’s presidency, we are presented with pretty polar opposite views on the usefulness of a couple of hundred million dollars thrown at the barriers to democratizing personalized medicine. Let’s face it, the pharma and research industries are spending this quantum on new therapeutic research directions quarterly and the amount is hardly aligned with the billions allocated to space exploration (to which many liken the personalized medicine trajectory).
However, I think most of the press coverage misses the point, really. Three things have just happened, each of which will have a profound impact on the trajectory of personalized medicine (in our view):
Students of tipping points will always tell you that they are the result of perfect storms which brew for years. At Diaceutics, we have stopped shy of describing specific events (important though they are in the personalized medicine narrative) as anything other than a further ingredient in the brew. But tipping points and perfect storms also need a valve of some sort, and a President of the United States taking time out to tell a nation that Precision – sorry – Personalized Medicine – is so important as to redirect tax dollars towards it, comes pretty close.