President’s “Precision Medicine” Ploy?


February 4, 2015
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The President wants your genetic code. Mr. Obama has announced a new “Precision Medicine Initiative” (PMI) that includes databasing medical records, genetic blueprints and lifestyles of a million or more Americans. Here are seven disturbing aspects of his initiative:

No Such Thing: A Forbes writer notes: Clinical genomics “isn’t quite as reliably precise as backers like to boast.” Of three tests used to determine if a particular cancer will recur, “only 12 of the 125 biological targets used by the three tests are shared and no one gene is used by all three”—and they often disagree.  
Used, But Not Useful: Two gene-profiling tests used to direct treatments for breast cancer have little use. Genetic Medicine reports, “Five systematic reviews found no direct evidence of clinical utility for either test,” but disturbingly, the test data “influenced a change in treatment recommendations in 21 to 74 percent of participants.”
The New Solyndra? The PMI Fact Sheet says, “Translating initial successes to a larger scale will require a coordinated and sustained national effort.” Obama wants Congress to extract $215 million from American taxpayers and give it to four federal agencies (NIH, NCI, FDA, ONC) to fund public-private partnerships on this faulty premise called “precision medicine.”
Data-Basing DNA: In 2009, Obama used another faulty premise -- “evidence-based medicine”(EBM) -- to impose government-accessible electronic health records (EHRs) on all Americans. Now, dismissing EBM entirely, by saying it only designed one-size-fits-all treatments for the “average patient,” he’s advancing a plan to get our genetic codes into the online data systems doctors must now use.
Comprehensive Data: The national database for these million or more Americans may include: “medical records; profiles of the patient’s genes, metabolites (chemical makeup), and microorganisms in and on the body; environmental and lifestyle data; patient-generated information; and personal device and sensor data.” 
Forget Privacy: The Obama administration says, “Privacy will be rigorously protected” in the national database. But I say, “He who holds the data makes the rules.” Privacy is very important, but this administration is focused on control. This database of detailed data may be used to build rationale for limiting or, in the era of preventive medicine, requiring treatment based on a person’s genotype.
A Charade? Obamacare was set up to limit access to care, not to give Americans access to personalized medicine. ACA rationing-focused agencies include CMMI, IPAB and PCORI. Now the president offers us a “new era of medicine – one that delivers the right treatment at the right time.” Who defines the word “right”?
Personalized medicine, on the other hand, is what physicians and nurses do when they take all your uniqueness (i.e. physical, physiological, emotional, cultural, mental, intellectual, lifestyle, religious, financial, personal choices) into consideration. Genetics is just one facet of you, and not yet precise.
Is the president’s “precision medicine” initiative a ploy? With only two years left to fully establish federal control over health care, Obama may be building a system where the unique genetic blueprints of Americans will be used by government officials, health plans, and others for the precise purpose of rationing care.
Exposing hidden agendas to protect your freedom,
Twila Brase, RN, PHN
President and Co-founder