ZonMw congress focuses on customized therapy
On April the 6th ZonMw organized for the fifth time the Good Use Medicines (GGG) congress. Striking was that this time a customized therapy (personalized medicine) was very prominent in plenary lectures. Jeroen Geurts, the new chairman of ZonMw, called tailor-made therapy a very important development. He too wants to take new paths into drug research. This is possible, for example, in the field of clinical trials where now the very solid and extensive Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) are the gold standard. But they also require an enormous effort for the development and introduction of new therapies. Are there perhaps more low-threshold variations to think of which good medicines, even for smaller patient groups, can be approved faster? In this context, Diande Veldman from the patient federation Netherlands also indicated that it is essential for patients that new working treatments arrive on the market as quickly as possible. Where affordability of that treatment is of course also essential.
The need to work together on more tailor-made therapies in healthcare is gradually becoming clear to most parties involved. However, there were still many uncertainties about the customized therapy route (how?), The financing of tailor-made therapy in the healthcare sector (who pays it?) And the practical concrete form with the important role of companion diagnostic. testing to find working therapy for patients (how does this look in practice?).
In the sub-sessions the results were presented by ZonMw GGG subsidized projects. How difficult the search is for many researchers for the relevant clinical information for individual predictive therapy decisions is evident. And unfortunately the presentation was often concluded with the words "more research is needed before these findings are applied in the clinic".