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article imageObama's personalized medicine plan advances

By Tim Sandle     Apr 11, 2015 in Health
Washington D.c. - The U.S. National Institutes of Health has assembled a team of medicine and science experts to begin the process of building President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative.
In his State of the Union address at the start of the year, the U.S. President, Barack Obama, made reference to a “precision medicine initiative” and declared he was supporting the tendency for this to become more widely considered for the treatment of patients. Digital Journal reported that the term “precision medicine” is more often called "personalized medicine" within the healthcare community; and it refers to the customization of healthcare. Here medical decisions, practices, and drug products are developed for the individual patient rather than as mass market goods and services.
Obama has requested $215 million to fund the initiative in his 2016 fiscal year budget proposal. This will, Science Insider reports, require approval by Congress. A sizable chunk of the money - about $130 million - would be slated for the recruitment and management of a group of 1 million volunteers who would share their medical, genetic, and biographical information with researchers.
The Obama plan is becoming closer to reality. The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced that it has formed a panel of precision medicine experts and researchers versed in large clinical trials. The idea is that this panel will take the first steps toward engendering the widespread public participation that a large-scale personalized medicine research effort will require.
The NIH group has been less-than-clearly named the “Working Group of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director.” This body will gather public comment, define the aims of such a large study, and help design the study. Commenting on this, NIH Director Francis Collins said in a statement: "Establishing a 1 million person cohort is an audacious endeavor. But the results from studying such a large group of Americans will build the scientific evidence necessary for moving precision medicine from concept to reality. I’m confident that we’ve pulled together the best of the best in this working group to put us on the right path forward."
The first report from the working party is expected in September 2015.
More about Personalized medicine, Medicine, Drugs, Obama, National Institutes of Health
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