AACC Issues Position Statement on Personalized Medicine
AACC recently issued a position statement on personalized medicine(PM). Much
has been written about the emergence of a more individualized approach to
medicine. Patients often present with
a variety of symptoms for the same disease and react differently to the same
laboratory will play an increasingly important role in personalized medicine.
exciting thing for Medical Laboratory Science is that there is a scientific
(usually genetic or genomic) explanation for how patients react to various
medications. The presence or absence of a gene often influences metabolism or overall sensitivity. Types and dosages of several medications are often customized for patients with diabetes, cancer, coagulopathies and the like. In other cases, a gene
could indicate a predisposition for developing a certain disease and so on.
MLS plays such a pivotal role in personalized medicine, AACC put forward certain
positions in its statement. For one it suggests Congress should increase funding for more
research in PM tests. They also urged the FDA not to adopt policies that
would, in effect, stifle test innovation.
from Medicare, Medicaid and private payers should cover PM tests adequately under the
Coverage with Evidence Development program. This is especially important since the increasing concentration on cost savings does not provide an incentive to adequately cover conditions that may affect only a relatively small subset of the patient population.
position is that laboratorians must assume the role of educating clinicians on
the availability, advantages, limitations and interpretation of PM tests.
Drawing from areas like clinical pharmacy the laboratory should work jointly to provide guidelines and algorithms for testing. They should consider producing reports
with more interpretive guidelines.
medicine advances, and as payers increasingly concentrate on outcomes and evidence-based
practice, I think we will find that laboratorians will have more opportunities.
It is up to us to assume a more expanded role as these opportunities present