The pharma world is morphing quicker than Jennifer Lawrence’s character Mystique in X-Men. The emersion of precision medicine is yet another form of evolution and adaption of the pharma industry. This initiative is fueled by patient data, so security and safety is a main priority. The industry is constantly evolving with the latest discoveries and challenges that sometimes make this arena difficult to maneuver. Especially from a treatment and prevention perspective, new challenges arise as not all diseases are curable or preventable. A s a result, that the one size fits all methodology does not fit into the science industry. One emerging initiative is to combat this is precision medicine. Whether we are taking about the average SAT score, the average income per area, the average patient, or the average batting average, we are constantly taking the average and setting that as a target for initiatives. But precision medicine is going pushing the limits of averages to new heights. Precision medicine is beyond the scope of just taking into consideration a mere average; it’s bringing tailored and customized healthcare to the nation.
Similar to concepts like 3D pill printing, biosimilars, and other customizable technologies, targeted medicines are the upcoming revolution on the life science industry. With the firm understanding that everyone is built differently and settled in different environments, precision medicine helps drill into understanding variables such as environments, lifestyles, race, ethnicity, age, economic background, etc. Precision medicine has already proven it’s worth as it’s paved the path for new treatment options. As said by the White House, [t]his is helping transform the way we can treat diseases such as cancer: Patients with breast, lung, and colorectal cancers, as well as melanomas and leukemias, for instance, routinely undergo molecular testing as part of patient care, enabling physicians to select treatments that improve chances of survival and reduce exposure to adverse effects.”
In President Obama’s State of the Union address in January 2015, he announced the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI). In support of the PMI, the NIH is focused on building a nation-wide research program that will allow precision to touch all diseases. Developing this initiative with security and safety is a primary commitment, so the White house is working hand in hand with the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies.
As part of PMI, the NIH is leading the effort to build a national, large-scale research enterprise with one million or more volunteers to extend precision medicine to all diseases. The All of UsSM Research Program, formerly known as the PMI Cohort Program, will be a participant-engaged, data-driven enterprise supporting research at the intersection of lifestyle, environment, and genetics to produce new knowledge with the goal of developing more effective ways to prolong health and treat disease. To reflect the diversity of the U.S. population, the program will enroll participants from diverse social, racial/ethnic, ancestral, geographic, and economic backgrounds, from all age groups and health statuses. Information from the program will be a broad, powerful resource for researchers working on a variety of important health questions. Importantly, the program will focus not just on disease, but also on ways to increase an individual’s chances of remaining healthy throughout life.