The European Medical Research Councils (EMRC) has come out with a new report asking for dedicated funding and support for healthcare systems across Europe in order to ensure that personalized medicine is provided for all.
The report entitled Personalised Medicine for the European Citizen, 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, from patient groups to regulators to industry and academia were consulted through a series of meetings designed to facilitate the discussion on the key issues.
Personalised medicine, a strategy based on individual phenotyping of profiles rather than the long established 'one-size-fits-all' approach identifies elements that predict the individuals' response to treatment and their predisposition to disease. This healthcare model places heavy emphasis on the maintenance and investment of these cohorts providing a healthcare 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."
Alongside Professor Holgate, the science committee responsible for compiling this report included: Professor Aarno Palotie, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, University of Helsinki, Finland; Professor Barbara Prainsack, Centre for Biomedicine & Society, Brunel University, United Kingdom; Professor Angela Brand, Institute for Public Health Genomics, Maastricht University, The Netherlands; and Professor Hans Lehrach, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Germany.
The report outlined a series of recommendations under four core headings:
- 1.Data handling
Comprehensive, accessible and interoperable datasets must be generated to support the development of a new disease taxonomy and allow for its ongoing refinement and application.
- 2.Models and decision-making processes
Models and decision-making processes must be revised to reflect a focus on the individual. This should happen at all levels, from assessment of the safety and efficacy of interventions, through HTA and reimbursement, to diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
- 3.Interdisciplinarity, participation and translational research
Emphasis must be placed on stakeholder participation, interdisciplinary interaction, public-private and precompetitive partnerships, and translational research in order to develop the frameworks that support the vision of personalised medicine and healthcare.
- 4.Infrastructure and resources
Dedicated 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.