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Personalized Medicine Coalition Releases Fourth Edition of The Case for Personalized Medicine

Report Highlights 113 Products, a 57 Percent Increase in the Last Three Years

Washington, DC (June 25, 2014)


The Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC) announced today the release of the fourth edition of the organization’s signature document, The Case for Personalized Medicine.

The report notes the steady development of the personalized medicine field, with a 57 percent increase in products the last three years. In 2006, there were 13 prominent examples of personalized drugs, treatments and diagnostics on the market. In 2011, there were 72, and today there are 113.

The Case for Personalized Medicine examines opportunities for the continued development and adoption of personalized medicine as the cost of genetic sequencing declines, the pharmaceutical industry increases its commitment to personalized treatment, and the public policy landscape evolves. PMC says such rapid developments, coupled with the public’s demand for better medicine and society’s need to increase the value of our health care system, make it imperative to encourage the development and adoption of personalized medicine. While momentum is building, much remains to be done to keep up with the evolving developments in science and technology, according to the report.

“With this progress comes a greater responsibility to move personalized medicine forward,” said Edward Abrahams, president of PMC. “In a time of unprecedented scientific breakthroughs and technological advancements, personalized health care has the capacity to detect the onset of disease at its earliest stages, pre-empt the progression of disease, and, at the same time, increase the efficiency of the health care system by improving quality, accessibility, and affordability. We’ve come a long way, but we have a lot to do, especially in education and advocacy.”

According to the report, personalized medicine can:

  • Shift the emphasis in medicine from reaction to prevention: Personalized medicine introduces the ability to use molecular markers that signal disease risk or presence before clinical signs and symptoms appear, and it offers the opportunity to focus on prevention and early intervention rather than on reaction at advanced stages of disease. In many areas, the clinical interventions can be life-saving.
  • Direct the selection of optimal therapy and reduce trial-and-error prescribing: Many patients do not benefit from the first drug they are offered in treatment. The majority of patients, for example, have at least one DNA-based variation in the enzymes that metabolize half of the most commonly prescribed medicines. The use of genetic and other forms of molecular screening allows the physician to select an optimal therapy the first time, thus avoiding the frustrating and costly practice of trial-and-error prescribing.
  • Help avoid adverse drug reactions: According to several studies, about 5.3 percent of all hospital admissions are associated with adverse drug reactions. Gene variants can cause drugs to be metabolized either faster or slower than normal. As a result, some individuals have trouble inactivating a drug and eliminating it from their bodies, leading to “overdose toxicity”; others eliminate the drug too rapidly before it has had a chance to work. If these genetic variations are not considered when dosing, the consequences can range from unpleasant to fatal.
  • Increase patient adherence to treatment: Patient non-compliance with treatment leads to adverse health effects and increased overall health care costs. When personalized therapies prove more effective or present fewer side effects, patients may be more likely to comply with their treatments.
  • Improve quality of life: A molecular diagnostic test that simply requires a blood sample can replace invasive and uncomfortable tissue biopsies.
  • Reveal additional or alternative uses for medicines and drug candidates: A medicine that may show weaker efficacy in a more generalized patient population may show greater benefits when its use is limited to genetically defined patient populations.
  • Help control the overall cost of health care: Personalized medical care has the potential to reduce health care costs worldwide. By concentrating therapeutic interventions on those who will benefit, we can spare expense and side effects for those who will not.

“PMC’s The Case for Personalized Medicine defines the field and contributes to our understanding of how developments in science and technology are creating new opportunities to address unmet patient needs,” said Paul Sheives, Director, Diagnostics & Personalized Medicine Policy, BIO. “BIO is very pleased to co-host with PMC The Forum on Diagnostics and Personalized Medicine at BIO’s International Convention in San Diego, where the report will be released. Many issues raised in the report will be discussed at the Forum.”

To advance personalize medicine, PMC argues we need intelligent coverage and payment policies, clearer regulatory guidelines, and modernized professional education to prepare the next generation of doctors and other health care professionals for personalized medicine.

The report makes its debut at The Personalized Medicine & Diagnostics Forum at the 2014 BIO International Convention, cosponsored by PMC and BIO. The Forum takes place today, June 25, at 9 a.m. PT, and will explore many of the salient issues facing personalized medicine, as discussed in The Case for Personalized Medicine.

A full list of PMC’s publications is available here:


Chris Wells
Phone: 202-580-9780

About the Personalized Medicine Coalition:
The Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC), 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, visit

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