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The Personalized Medicine Coalition

Goals and Strategies

American Journal of Pharmacogenomics


The concept of personalized medicine — that medical care can be tailored to the genomic and molecular profile of the individual — has repercussions that extend far beyond the technology that makes it possible. The adoption of personalized medicine will require changes in healthcare infrastructure, diagnostics and therapeutics business models, reimbursement policy from government and private payers, and a different approach to regulatory oversight. Personalized medicine will shift medical practices upstream from the reactive treatment of disease, to proactive healthcare management including screening, early treatment, and prevention, and will alter the roles of both physician and patient. It will create a greater reliance on electronic medical records and decision support systems in an industry that has a long history of resistance to information technology.

Personalized medicine requires a systems approach to implementation. But in a healthcare economy that is highly decentralized and market driven, it is incumbent upon the stakeholders themselves to advocate for a consistent set of policies and legislation that pave the way for the adoption of personalized medicine. To address this need, the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC) was formed as a nonprofit umbrella organization of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, diagnostic, and information technology companies, healthcare providers and payers, patient advocacy groups, industry policy organizations, major academic institutions, and government agencies. The PMC provides a structure for achieving consensus positions among these stakeholders on crucial public policy issues, a role which will be vital to translating personalized medicine into widespread clinical practice.

In this article, we outline the goals of the PMC, and the strategies it will take to foster communication, debate, and consensus on issues such as genetic discrimination, the reimbursement structures for pharmacogenomic drugs and diagnostics, regulation, physician training and medical school curricula, and public education.

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Table I
Fig. 1
Fig. 2


  1. 1The structure for achieving a consensus begins with a draft statement introduced by PMC members or the executive director. The draft is presented to the Public Policy Committee, which reviews the statement and issues a document to the membership. The document would include context, background, pros and cons, and a recommended statement/position. Revisions may be made by the PMC membership or executive director, and sent back to the Public Policy Committee for endorsement by a two-thirds majority vote. Final approval is made by a two-thirds majority vote from the PMC Board of Directors.


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We would like to thank Marcia Kean, Christine Mackenzie, and J. Brian Munroe for their keen insights and assistance in preparing the manuscript. We report no funding or other sources of support that would create a conflict of interest with the content of this review.

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Correspondence to Edward Abrahams.

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Abrahams, E., Ginsburg, G.S. & Silver, M. The Personalized Medicine Coalition. Am J Pharmacogenomics 5, 345–355 (2005).

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