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Strategic Opportunity of Precision Medicine

The Obama Administration has updated its Strategy for American Innovation, which highlights nine areas — including precision medicine — that it says present a strategic opportunity.

"[I]nnovation is a wellspring of economic growth and a powerful tool for addressing our most pressing challenges as a nation — such as enabling more Americans to lead longer, healthier lives," the Administration says in a press release. It further notes that between 1948 and 2012, more than half of the total increase in US productivity growth was due to innovation and technological change.

In his State of the Union address last January, President Obama announced a new Precision Medicine Initiative that he said would help usher in "a new era of medicine  —  one that delivers the right treatment at the right time."

This new innovation strategy further notes the initiative includes National Cancer Institute efforts to apply genomic approaches to accelerate the design and testing of tailored cancer treatments; a National Institutes of Health program to develop a large cohort of volunteers to aid in studying health and disease; and an effort at the Food and Drug Administration to modernize the development and regulation of genomic test and tools.

The Administration adds that its 2016 budget proposal includes $215 million to launch the Precision Medicine Initiative. However, the US is currently operating under a continuing resolution that funds the government through mid-December, and it does not include any funding for the Precision Medicine Initiative.