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Survey Shows Most Americans Not Familiar with Personalized Medicine, an Evolving Approach to Making Health System More Efficient, Effective

PMC President: Continued education necessary to ensure 'informed conversations about how to maximize the use of health care resources'

WASHINGTON (May 23, 2018) 


A representative survey of 1,001 Americans released today by the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC) and GenomeWeb shows that most Americans are not familiar with personalized medicine, an evolving approach to medicine that can make the health system more efficient and effective.

As underlined by PMC in January, personalized medicines accounted for more than 20 percent of new drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the fourth straight year in 2017. Each of these therapies is designed for a small population of patients that is highly likely to benefit from the treatment. When guided by the results of molecular diagnostic tests, the use of these therapies helps ensure treatments are targeted to only those patients who benefit from them, sparing the expenses and side effects associated with treating those who do not.

According to Public Perspectives on Personalized Medicine: A Survey of U.S. Public Opinion, which was conducted by KRC Research, 67 percent of Americans have never even heard the terms “personalized medicine” or “precision medicine,” which are often used interchangeably to describe the process of targeting medical interventions in this way. Only 13 percent of respondents indicated that they feel “very informed” about the topic. When personalized medicine was defined for them, 67 percent indicated a “mostly positive” reaction to it. Majorities of respondents indicated that the field could provide “major” benefits to the health system, and 82 percent said they want to learn more about it.

PMC President Edward Abrahams said the results underline the need for education, especially as policymakers in the public and private sectors consider the future of health care in the U.S.

“We cannot have informed conversations about how to maximize the use of our health care resources until we understand the role that personalized medicines — which now represent one of every four new drug approvals at FDA — can play in targeting those resources,” Abrahams said. “These survey results suggest that we have our work cut out for us when it comes to educating the public.”

A panel of experts including Randy Burkholder, Vice President, Policy and Research, PhRMA, Stephanie Devaney, Ph.D., Deputy Director, All of Us Research Program, U.S. National Institutes of Health, Susan McClure, Founder, Publisher, Genome magazine, and Lincoln Nadauld, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Director, Precision Medicine and Precision Genomics, Intermountain Healthcare, will discuss the significance of the findings during a luncheon at the National Press Club today at 12:00 p.m. ET.
» Download Public Perspectives on Personalized Medicine: A Survey of U.S. Public Opinion
» See GenomeWeb coverage

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

About GenomeWeb:
GenomeWeb is an independent online news organization based in New York. Since 1997, GenomeWeb has served the global community of scientists, technology professionals, and executives who use and develop the latest advanced tools in molecular biology research and molecular diagnostics. For more information about GenomeWeb, visit

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