Capitol Hill Briefing to Explain the Value of Personalized Medicine


Back in February this blog reported on the story of Adriana Jenkins, a breast cancer patient who, shortly before her death, called for policies to accelerate personalized medicine:

“A targeted cancer drug kept me alive for nine years. Congress must ensure that future patients get the same chance to live.”

PMC has been working hard to respond to Adriana’s call for action. As one step in this, we’re pleased to be taking part in a briefing on Capitol Hill describing the status of personalized medicine and potential steps to accelerate it.

Advancing personalized medicine involves the complex process of bringing together the many stakeholders who have a role in the health care ecosystem: pharmaceutical companies, diagnostics companies, clinical laboratories, health information technology companies, health care providers, payors, and researchers.  Each comes to personalized medicine with a different perspective but a common goal – improving treatment for patients like Adriana through personalized medicine.

As Adriana pointed out, policymakers play a key role in advancing personalized medicine.  Health care reform raised the profile of the term on Capitol Hill but several members of Congress and congressional staffers have told me that they and their colleagues want to better understand how personalized medicine can improve health outcomes, lower health care costs, and ultimately improve patient care. Today we will take an important step in raising awareness and understanding of personalized medicine on Capitol Hill.

Working with the House Medical Technology Caucus co-chairs Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), the Personalized Medicine Coalition is hosting a briefing on Capitol Hill to inform members of Congress and congressional staff about personalized medicine and how public policy can further its development through incentives, regulatory changes, and HIT-enabled opportunities.

At the briefing we will hear from researchers, providers and patient advocates.  Joining us will be Stephen Eck, M.D., Ph.D., Vice President and Global Head of Medical Oncology for Astellas Pharma Global Development, Amy Abernethy, M.D., Director of the Duke Cancer Care Research Program at Duke Cancer Institute, and Donna Cryer, J.D., CEO of CryerHealth and Chair of the American Liver Foundation’s Board of Directors.

The briefing will take place today in the Rayburn House Office Building Room B-338 on Capitol Hill from noon-1 pm.  Limited seating is available; please register here ( or email

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