Stratified medicine

The Academy of Medical Sciences has worked to outline the benefits of stratified approaches to medicine, and to address barriers to their widespread development and adoption.

Launched
Undertaking Follow Up

‘Stratified medicine’ is the grouping of patients based on risk of disease or response to therapy by using diagnostic tests or techniques.

Patients and healthcare providers both benefit from more targeted and effective treatments, whereas industry benefits from the potential for more efficient therapeutic development as well as the market expansion for these new treatments. These benefits were outlined in the Academy of Medical Sciences' 2007 FORUM symposium report, ‘Optimizing stratified medicines R&D: addressing scientific and economic issues’, which also identified several challenges for the development and adoption of stratified medicine.

These challenges – in the areas of regulation, health economics and clinical and research infrastructure – had not been adequately addressed in the five years to 2012. To ensure these barriers do not persist for a further five years, the Academy initiated work to identify the ongoing challenges and to propose solutions for the development and use of stratified medicine products, namely targeted drugs and their associated diagnostic tests. This project resulted in the 2013 report ‘Realising the potential of stratified medicine’. The Academy released a short film to celebrate the launch of the report.

On November 8 2013, the Academy hosted a follow-up meeting to discuss the implementation of the report‘s recommendations. The meeting brought together key stakeholders to consider relevant plans, progress and opportunities for action, including the identification of short-term gains and long-term goals. A summary note of this meeting is available for download.

Following on from the 2013 report, the Academy recently convened a FORUM symposium in May 2015, together with the Medical Research Council, Science Europe and the University of Southampton, to discuss the ongoing challenges with implementation of stratified medicine. The symposium on 'Stratified, personalised or P4 medicine' highlighted several key challenges to be addressed if the potential of P4 medicine is to be realised. Further information can be found under the '2015 symposium' tab and the meeting report can be downloaded from the righthand side of this page.

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