The President’s Precision Medicine Initiative – The First Annual Check-Up

Antoinette F. Konski | JD Supra Business Advisor | January 27, 2016

Watching President Obama’s recent 2016 State of the Union Address reminded me that one year has passed since the President announced a new “precision” or personalized medicine initiative to advance personalized, effective therapies for the American public. It was during his 2015 State of the Union Address that the President stated:[1]
“[T]onight, I’m launching a new Precision Medicine Initiative to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes, and to give all of us access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier. We can do this.”

Soon after the President’s address, details emerged regarding the Precision Medicine Initiative (“PMI”). $215 million was committed from the President’s 2016 budget to be broadly allocated to National Institutes of Health (“NIH”), the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”). The money was to be invested as follows:[2]

• $130 million to NIH for the development of a voluntary national research cohort of a million or more volunteers who will voluntarily share health, familial and genetic information to be shared among responsible researchers;
• $70 million to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of NIH, to understand the genetic drivers of cancer and improve therapies;...