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Health experts advocate implementing personalised medicine [Print to PDF] [Print to RTF]

Leading health experts are pushing for personalised health care in a new report by the European Science Foundation's (ESF's) membership organisation and the European Medical Research Councils (EMRC). According to the report, dedicated funding and support is required to ensure ...
Health experts advocate implementing personalised medicine
Leading health experts are pushing for personalised health care in a new report by the European Science Foundation's (ESF's) membership organisation and the European Medical Research Councils (EMRC). According to the report, dedicated funding and support is required to ensure personalised medicine can be implemented across Europe's healthcare systems.

The report, entitled 'Personalised medicine for the European citizen', has brought together experts from a wide range of disciplines to identify the most pressing issues affecting the development and implementation of personalised medicine across Europe. Key stakeholders were consulted: from patient groups to regulators, and from industry and academia.

Personalised medicine is a strategy based on individual phenotyping of profiles, rather than the long established 'one-size-fits-all' approach, which identifies the elements predicting the individuals' response to treatment and their predisposition to disease. This health-care model places heavy emphasis on the maintenance and investment of these cohorts, providing a health-care system with a modern, prospective approach, an essential strategy for the analysis and understanding of disease over time in well-characterised populations.

Professor Stephen Holgate, Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology at the University of Southampton and a leading expert in the consultation, commented: 'Personalised medicine has become increasingly important in the future of healthcare by targeting patients with specific treatment programmes tailored to the individuals needs.'

The report has outlined a series of recommendations in four core areas, starting with data handling. It states that comprehensive, accessible and interoperable data sets must be generated to support the development of a new disease taxonomy and allow for its ongoing refinement and application. Secondly, the models and decision-making processes must be revised in order to reflect a focus on the individual. The professors believe that this should be carried out at all levels, from assessment of the safety and efficacy of interventions, through health technology assessment (HTA) and reimbursement, to diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

Next, the report outlines interdisciplinary, participation and translational research. Stakeholder participation, interdisciplinary interaction, public-private and precompetitive partnerships, and translational research will help develop the frameworks that support the vision of personalised medicine and health care.

Lastly, infrastructure and resources are needed, and dedicating funding and governmental support must be provided to ensure the availability of core infrastructure, including access to core technology and frameworks for education and training of professionals and the wider community.

Professor Liselotte Højgaard, chair of the EMRC, says; 'We hope that the recommendations in our report will now be taken up by stakeholders throughout Europe to ensure the successful introduction and sustainable implementation of personalised medicine.'

Alongside Professor Holgate, the science committee responsible for compiling the report included Professor Aarno Palotie from the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland and University of Helsinki (Finland), Professor Barbara Prainsack from the Centre for Biomedicine and Society and Brunel University (United Kingdom), Professor Angela Brand from the Institute for Public Health Genomics and Maastricht University (the Netherlands), and Professor Hans Lehrach from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics (Germany).
Source: The European Science Foundation

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Record Number: 35343 / Last updated on: 2012-12-13
Category: Project
Provider: EC