The UK is uniquely placed to make the most of the potential of stratified medicine because of its strong academic and industrial research base, clinical research infrastructure, and the unique potential of the NHS and health informatics.
We are beginning to have the ability to stratify treatments, and we believe that the development of personalised medicine will bring benefits to patients and the healthcare system; it will also improve the efficiency and productivity of developing new treatments, and enhance UK competitiveness and attractiveness for drug and diagnostic research and development (R&D).
A fortnight ago we hosted the second pharma-diagnostics stratified medicine networking event, where it was agreed that biomarker testing to stratify medicines has an expanding role in clinical decision-making. A number of recommendations emerged from the event, these included:
The new commissioning and innovation bodies (CCGs and AHSNs) should be engaged and shaped to ensure optimal and sustainable adoption of stratified medicine, and learn from barriers to adoption.
Biomarker test results should be adequately used to inform patient treatment.
A framework for molecular pathology that incorporates test laboratory service standards, patient pathway analysis to include tests, appropriate and evidence-based commissioning of services and education of healthcare professionals should be created.
Innovative alternatives to traditional business models should be developed within the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industries and healthcare sector to incorporate a stratified approach.
As many stakeholders are involved in making stratified medicine a reality for patients, it is vitally important that networking opportunities are encouraged for those involved and we hope to have more events in the future as part of our commitment to this field.
Dr Louise Leong
Head of Research & Development