TRANSPERS goes to Washington

Dear Colleagues,

Spring is a time of “new growth,” and we’re excited to see the growth of personalized/precision medicine as exemplified by the recent announcement by President Obama and the White House about new funding for precision medicine.

In this newsletter, we report on “new growth” by TRANSPERS including our work with the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and AcademyHealth; our ongoing work in developing a registry of payer coverage policies; media coverage of new publications; new journals and new editorial board memberships; and seven new publications.

Also, TRANSPERS debuts a new look and revised content on their NEW website. Check it out at TRANSPERS.

And last but not least, we are pleased to report that TRANSPERS collaborator R. Kate Kelley received a leadership award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Way to go Katie!

As always, we welcome your thoughts, comments, and ideas for collaboration.


Kathryn Phillips signature

Kathryn Phillips, PhD

TRANSPERS Center Director

In this issue

TRANSPERS goes to Washington! Activities at PCORI and AcademyHealth

TRANSPERS Director Kathryn Phillips is working with the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to develop potential topics for their research agenda on comparative effectiveness research and personalized/precision medicine. PCORI’s mandate is to improve the quality and relevance of evidence available to help patients, caregivers, clinicians, employers, insurers, and policy makers make informed health decisions. PCORI is now the largest funder of comparative effectiveness research in the world!

Kathryn has also been named as a Senior Scholar at AcademyHealth, which is the professional organization for health services research. In Kathryn's words, “The Scholar Program allows me to return to my longstanding passion—to better link research to practice and policy.” She will maintain her full-time appointment at UCSF while working with AcademyHealth. Details: Dr. Kathryn A. Phillips Named Senior Scholar in Residence at AcademyHealth.

Update on TRANSPERS registry of payer coverage policies

As reported in our December 3 newsflash, TRANSPERS received an NHGRI grant to develop a registry of public and payer coverage policies for new and emerging genetic tests. Read more about this work and related TRANSPERS studies at:

TRANSPERS collaborators cited in the press

TRANSPERS Collaborator Christine Weldon was quoted in a recent article on “The High Price of Precision Medicine.” In this interview, she cites TRANSPERS-funded research on the seven largest payers to find out how they’re covering genetic testing for their 100 million customers. The results, says Christine, came down to clinical utility.

An article by TRANSPERS collaborator James Chambers at Tufts Medical Center was cited in the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal among other media outlets:

His article in Health Affairs suggests that although specialty drugs often have higher costs than traditional drugs, they also tend to confer greater benefits and hence may still offer reasonable value for money. More: Despite high costs, specialty drugs may offer value for money comparable to that of traditional drugs.

TRANSPERS Center director joins editorial boards for Pharmacogenomics and the Journal of Precision Medicine

Kathryn Phillips joined the Editorial Boards for The Pharmacogenomics Journal, a well-established journal by Nature that is in the top 10% of pharmacology and pharmacy titles and The Journal of Precision Medicine, which is a new journal with a global perspective with a mission to “Predict, Prevent, and Personalize with Precision” that will “encourage challenging debate surrounding payers, providers and regulators…highlighting the obstacles we all face as participants of this endeavor.” The Journal intends to discuss the more challenging issues and essentially try to offer solutions by allowing engagement from research through to the clinic and ultimately prioritizing the needs of the patient in the context of everything we debate. TRANSPERS founder and director Kathryn Phillips will serve on the inaugural editorial board. To learn more and subscribe, please visit The Journal of Precision Medicine.

TRANSPERS Center recent publications