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PMC White Paper Suggests Most Value Assessment Frameworks Could Unintentionally Undermine Personalized Medicine

Sweeping Conclusions Based on Population Averages May Discourage Consideration of Unique Biology, Values, Preferences

WASHINGTON (December 14, 2017)


In a white paper released this morning, the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC) contends that most value assessment frameworks, as currently designed, could unintentionally undermine the health care community's push toward more personalized care.

The drive toward personalized medicine was exemplified as recently as November 7, when two authors from the University of Washington suggested in an opinion article in JAMA that clinicians should prepare to consider "a specific and detailed understanding of what makes an individual patient different from others" alongside "population-based 'best evidence'" to ensure that future patients get the best care possible.

In a white paper titled Personalized Medicine and Value Assessment Frameworks: Context, Considerations, and Next Steps, PMC points out that most value assessment frameworks still make sweeping conclusions about the economic worth of a particular treatment based almost exclusively on population averages. As a result, the paper contends, most value assessment frameworks could unintentionally discourage payers and providers from considering important information about a patient's biology, values and preferences that can improve health outcomes — especially when value assessment frameworks influence the coverage and payment decisions that determine whether patients have access to treatment options that will work for them.

"To achieve their articulated goal of calculating rational prices for pharmaceutical products, value assessment frameworks must acknowledge human heterogeneity and incorporate the principles of personalized medicine," said PMC President Edward Abrahams. "PMC's report suggests that most value assessment frameworks have a long way to go, and could have the unintended consequence of slowing progress in health care."

The Coalition has scheduled a panel discussion for 4:00 p.m. ET to discuss the paper's implications with Alan Balch, Ph.D., CEO, National Patient Advocate Foundation; Dan Leonard, President, National Pharmaceutical Council; Kristen Migliaccio-Walle, Director, Global Health Economics and Outcomes, Xcenda; and Dana Wollins, Senior Director, Health Policy, American Society for Clinical Oncology. The discussion is accessible in person and by webinar. 
Register for the panel discussion

Christopher J. Wells
Phone: 202-589-1755

About the Personalized Medicine Coalition:
The Personalized Medicine Coalition, representing innovators, scientists, patients, providers and payers, promotes the understanding and adoption of personalized medicine concepts, services and products to benefit patients and the health system. For more information about PMC, please visit

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