Far too many diseases do not have a proven means of prevention or effective treatments. We must gain better insights into the biological, environmental, and behavioral influences on these diseases to make a difference for the millions of Americans who suffer from them. Precision medicine is an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person. While some advances in precision medicine have been made, the practice is not currently in use for most diseases.
That’s why on January 20, 2015, President Obama announced the Precision Medicine Initiative® (PMI) (link is external) in his State of the Union address. Through advances in research, technology and policies that empower patients, the PMI will enable a new era of medicine in which researchers, providers and patients work together to develop individualized care.
The President called for $215 million in fiscal year 2016 to support the Initiative, which includes several components with efforts from across the federal government. Of this total proposed budget, $130 million was allocated to NIH to build a national, large-scale research participant group, called a cohort, and $70 million was allocated to the National Cancer Institute to lead efforts in cancer genomics as part of PMI for Oncology.