Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Aligning the AACP Strategic Engagement Agenda with Key Federal Priorities in Health: Report of the 2016-17 Argus Commission

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Aligning the AACP Strategic Engagement Agenda with Key Federal Priorities in Health: Report of the 2016-17 Argus Commission

Article excerpt


The Argus Commissioniscomprisedofthe five most recent AACP presidents and typically will be charged to study a "horizon topic" believed to be germane to the future of pharmacy education, research and/or practice. President Joseph DiPiro charged the Commission to examine federal initiatives (eg, precision medicine initiative) that are emerging as significant national priorities and to select several with respect to their current and future impact on pharmacy education, research and practice.

After reviewing numerous potential national health priorities, members of the Commission selected three: the precision medicine initiative (PMI), the Cancer Moonshot, and the opioid misuse epidemic. What became clear as members of the Commission studied each topic was that pharmacy educators are significantly involved in all of these priorities. Further, the implications emerged for enhancing PharmD and graduate education, furthering the advancement of patient care and population health activities, and deepening the academy's research participation, including basic biomedical, translational, clinical, administrative and social science research.

In one of the final actions of the 114th US Congress, the House of Representatives and Senate each passed legislation named the 21st Century Cures Act which President Obama signed into law on December 13, 2016. (1) The three priorities identified by the Argus Commission were included as areas of research that will receive additional funding over the next 10 years. That said, AACP and other organizations committed to securing adequate federal support for research and innovation must remain vigilant to see that annual appropriations meet the expectations of the law.


Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI)

Precision medicine is the discovery, identification, and application of new technologies and/or services to make the prevention, diagnosis, and/or treatment ofdisease more successful and cost effective at delivering improved health outcomes for patients. The range of elements that contribute to precision health is very broad, including genetics, genomics, epigenomics, informatics, environment, behavior, and cultures and spans the full range of molecular, clinical, outcomes and population-based research. The definition is intended to be broadly stated because this is a highly diverse and dynamic arena. However, central and core within its foundation is the application of molecular analyses of genes, proteins and metabolites to accomplish precise diagnosis, treatment and/or prevention of disease. (2)

The patient is at the focus of precision medicine, with researchers and clinicians alike providing the means to direct the most appropriate prevention or therapy to a specific patient based on the unique characteristics of both the patient and pathology from which he or she suffers, and engaging him or her to optimize outcomes.

We stand at a pivotal time in biomedical research where the integration of biologic, patient, and outcomes data are within our reach. By combining diverse datasets, new opportunities are emerging in how healthcare is delivered. Several key advances enable these efforts and together create a "perfect storm." Advances in DNA sequencing technologies have ushered in new capabilities to collect genomic information at unprecedented scales, including whole genomes. Recent successes in interlinking molecular data with clinical data have demonstrated utility in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. New developments in information technology, such as the advent of electronic medical records, have made collection of clinical data from large numbers of patients possible. Moreover, advances in data mining allow for the realization of unexpected correlations in largescale datasets from disparate sources. Together these advances enable us to gather, integrate, analyze and disseminate health-related data that were unimaginable 20 years ago in the evolving science and practice of precision medicine. …

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