Friday, November 14, 2008

HHS Issues Second Report on Personalized Health Care

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt today released the second report from his
Initiative on Personalized Health Care, examining the potential for new
findings in genetics and other molecular-level medicine to improve the
quality and cost-effectiveness of health care.

The report, "Personalized Health Care: Pioneers, Partnerships,
Progress," includes reports from 10 institutions where personalized
health care techniques are beginning to be used. It also includes seven
commissioned papers examining the opportunities and challenges for
personalized health care from the perspectives of different stakeholders
in the health care sector.

"These sample case studies reflect a broad scope of approaches that are
already being tried, as well as partnerships for achieving higher levels
of effectiveness and personalization in health care," Secretary Leavitt
writes in a "Prologue" chapter in the report.

Personalized health care envisions medical care that is increasingly
differentiated between patients based on variations in their individual
biology. For example, differences in metabolism or other factors cause
a given prescription medication to work well with some individuals, but
not others. By measuring such individual variations in patients before
prescribing, drugs could be used more safely, effectively and at lower

Genetic and molecular medicine should also help spot diseases before
symptoms appear, enabling treatments to delay or preempt the disease and
avoid costly late-stage treatments. Personal genomic profiles may also
enable patients to learn their particular predisposition to disease and
take more effective disease prevention steps.

Secretary Leavitt says in the report that the potential for personalized
health care techniques to improve health and increase value in health
care make personalized health care a factor that should be targeted as
part of any plan to reform the nation's health care system. In
addition, current models of paying for health care, which reward volume
of care over value or quality, may hinder promising new avenues that
would avoid expensive late-stage treatments or prevent disease.

Secretary Leavitt launched his special Initiative on Personalized Health
Care in 2006. The report is available at

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page

No comments: