Can Precision Medicine Be a Win-Win for All Stakeholders? Dr. Edward Abrahams of the PMC Believes It’s Possible

10/25/19

To celebrate our upcoming anniversary, we're going back to where the Precision Medicine Podcast made its debut nearly one year ago.

 

Dr. Edward Abrahams is President of the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC) and host of the 15th Annual Personalized Medicine Conference coming up November 13 on the Harvard Medical School campus. In this episode, we discuss the evolution of precision medicine and the value it can bring to all stakeholders, including innovators, scientists, patients, providers, and payers.

 

If you are a regular listener we've heard over and over about the challenges associated with convincing everyone—and most notably payers—of the value of precision medicine. So, we are excited to share Dr. Abrahams’ and the PMC’s vision for communicating it as a win-win for all stakeholders.

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Dr. Abrahams was forthright in saying that the idea of shifting today’s one-size-fits-all approach to medicine to an approach that is targeted to patients based on their molecular profiles is still more of a challenge than a reality. Yet, he believes that when payers and providers see the long-term advantages and cost-savings, they will be more willing to adopt precision medicine practices. He notes that molecular testing is relatively inexpensive and can alleviate the costs associated with treating illnesses inappropriately. The goal of personalized medicine, he says, is to provide better clinical outcomes and make the system more efficient.

 

As an example, Dr. Abrahams points to a gene therapy that can cure pediatric patients whose illness causes their muscles to decay over a short amount of time. He says that while the cost of the drug is very high—over $2 million, which is scary for payers —the downstream costs of treating the illness ineffectively would reach over $5 million while resulting in devastating outcomes for the patients. Dr. Abrahams believes that while it is expensive to develop the evidence to convince payers and other stakeholders of the value of such treatments, it must be done in order to change the narrative that precision medicine testing and treatments are too expensive. To do that, he says that we will need better methodologies for assessing the value of precision medicine diagnostics, which is why the PMC is a proponent of making the value assessment framework more sophisticated.

Dr. Abrahams will be giving opening remarks at the 15th Annual Personalized Medicine Conference at Harvard Medical School on November 13 – 14, 2019, where speakers will touch on these and other issues that affect the understanding and adoption of personalized medicine concepts.

 

We’ll be there, and we hope you will too. Simply register hereMeanwhile, tune in for the entire podcast above to hear more about the vision of Dr. Abrahams and the PMC.
 

Download the full transcript of the episode here (pdf).

 

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