CER and PM: Contradictory or Complementary?

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Comparative effectiveness research (CER) is poised to play a major role in the promotion of a personalized approach to health care. Done right, CER could do more to advance personalized medicine than any other policy under consideration right now. Done wrong, it could lock us into 20th century medicine and discourage innovation. Congress is considering two, very different policies for conducting CER. One allows for personalized medicine and medical innovation to emerge, the other would take us down the path of traditional, “one-size-fits-all” medicine.

The Senate Finance Committee’s approach – which incorporates the science of personalized medicine throughout the process and builds an independent Institute to make the most of scientific expertise in the public and private sectors – is an important step towards aligning CER and PM.  Researchers, policymakers, patients, and caregivers must continue working together to define pathways in support of personalized medicine. In contrast, other CER proposals in the Senate HELP bill and the House bill (H.R. 3200) provide more funds to conduct existing CER programs, which usually leads to broad, population-based conclusions.

Today, in concert with the release of the Comparative Effectiveness Research and Personalized Medicine: From Contradiction to Synergy report, the Personalized Medicine Coalition and National Pharmaceutical Councilare hosting a conference that we hope will point the way forward to evidence-based, personalized medicine. Titled Comparative Effectiveness Research and Personalized Medicine: Policy, Science, and Business, this conference has attracted leaders in all three sectors to discuss the topic. We will consider the two policies currently being debated, and discuss the scientific possibilities and business implications of both policies.

This conference addresses just one of several topics ripe for discussion at the intersection of personalized medicine and health policy. This blog will continue to explore policy, science, and business topics of interest to proponents of personalized medicine. We will explore the barriers to personalized medicine, and ways around them. We hope you will join the conversation.

By Amy Miller, Public Policy Director, Personalized Medicine Coalition

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