Last week I participated in an interesting gathering in Washington, DC of top medical and policy experts who issued a new health care manifesto that might be of interest to entrepreneurs in the space. Hosted by the Council for American Medical Innovation, FasterCures and the Kauffman Foundation, the 2010 Translational Medicine Alliance Forum (TMAF) brought together leaders from academia, government agencies, and pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and venture industries to discuss models to enable and accelerate the progress of translational medicine.
The core argument and motivation behind the “Personalized Health Manifesto” is that despite the promise of a new era of health care that emphasizes prevention fueled by individualized care, a significant gap remains in realizing its benefits because of outmoded attitudes, protocols and procedures targeted for treating mass populations. This manifesto seeks to accelerate the incorporation of personalized health into the current health care system.
Journalist and best-selling author David Ewing Duncan wrote the manifesto, with input from life science leaders representing medicine, business, government, patients, law and the media. The manifesto organizers hope to acquire the endorsement of at least 500 life science leaders by the end of the year.
The manifesto’s “action plan” emphasizes prediction, prevention, individualized care and “healthy wellness” to ensure that the best medicines make it to the marketplace and optimize patient care. By focusing on the whole human organism, the manifesto challenges the prevailing use of drugs and protocols to target populations and averages, rather than individuals. It also outlines the necessary groundwork for speeding up the process of moving from research to new drugs and other products and treatments by introducing more effective models that will ultimately improve health and reduce health care costs.
As Lesa Mitchell, vice president of advancing innovation at the Kauffman Foundation said, “the manifesto is a fitting catalyst for conversation about how we can better and more quickly get cures to patients amid the billions being spent on research and drug development. It directs us to focus on what we need to treat a patient, what we need to change in policy, what do we need to change in process, and how we need to more broadly share data to get the patient what he or she needs.”
Anyone who reads the manifesto can add their name to the list of endorsers and leave comments by visiting www.kauffman.org/healthmanifesto. As I have noted in previous posts during the health policy debate, especially now we have greater public investment in making our health care “system” work, we are going to need all the efficiencies science can offer!