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The Myth of Average: Why Individual Patient Differences Matter

Within today’s health care environment, so much of the research that is conducted and the treatment decisions that are being made are based on assumptions of an “average” patient. But as we learn more about treatments and optimal care, it’s very clear that most patients are not “average” at all.

Our bodies respond in different ways to the same treatment because of a wide variety of factors, such as racial and ethnic backgrounds, age, genetics, chronic conditions, gender, environment, and even personal preferences when it comes to health treatments. A one-size-fits-all approach to health care will not provide patients with the optimal care they need and deserve.

In this publication, “The Myth of Average: Why Individual Patient Differences Matter,” the National Pharmaceutical Council explores the reasons behind differences in treatment effects and offers a checklist that patients can use when talking to their health care providers.

Among the multiple issues covered, the booklet also includes:

  • information on the science behind patient differences,
  • the importance of comparative effectiveness research that takes these differences into consideration, and
  • the challenges involved in providing health coverage –and access to a range of different treatments—for patients who are not at all “average.”

Blog Post

#TBT: Enrollment Deadline & the Role of Rx in Health Exchanges

As part of our “Throwback Thursday” blog series, we’re taking a look at a research topic that’s currently in the news and tagging it with...
Blog Post

NPC Asks CMS to Consider Patients’ Individual Treatment Effects In Part D Rulemaking

The National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) today asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to consider maintaining “protected classes...
Commentary and Testimony Page

NPC Comments on CMS' Proposed Changes to Protected Classes

March 7, 2014Marilyn B. TavennerAdministratorCenters for Medicare & Medicaid ServicesU.S. Department of Health and Human Services200 Independence...
Newsletter Volume

E.V.I.dently November 2013

MessageCER Collaborative Is Assessing Evidence and Informing Decision-MakingToday we’re faced with an ever-growing availability of health information...
Press Release

NPC, UMD Study: Factors That Cause Different Treatment Responses Are Not Well Understood or Studied

Washington, DC, November 4, 2013—Although researchers and health care providers widely recognize that individuals with stage IV prostate cancer react...
Press Release

National Pharmaceutical Council Comments on PCORI Approval of Research Methodology Standards

Washington, DC (November 19, 2012)—The National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) today commented on the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s (...
Press Release

Leading Researchers Outline Principles for Conduct of Comparative Effectiveness Research

WASHINGTON, DC (September 11, 2012)—A new set of principles developed by a group of leading researchers could help to ensure more consistency in how...
Press Release

Pharmaceuticals Play Key Role in Achieving ACO Quality, Cost Goals

WASHINGTON, DC, July 18, 2012–As health care providers set up accountable care organizations (ACOs) and other value-based care programs,...
Commentary and Testimony Page

NPC Comments on CMS' Proposed Changes to Protected Classes

March 7, 2014Marilyn B. TavennerAdministratorCenters for Medicare & Medicaid ServicesU.S. Department of Health and Human Services200 Independence...
Commentary and Testimony Page

The Risks of Standardized Health Care

Think about the last time you visited a medical office. Even at a specialist’s office, chances are that each person waiting for his or her name to be...
Commentary and Testimony Page

Questions Abound on the Adoption of Evidence

Medical decision making should rely on evidence (when available) to ensure that treatments are appropriate and effective for patients. Given the...
Commentary and Testimony Page

Health Affairs CER Briefing Highlights Key Issues

Just one week after the appointment of the board of governors for the new comparative effectiveness research (CER) body, the Patient-Centered...
YouTube Videos

Using Distributed Data Networks to Understand Heterogeneity in Real-World Data

Kimberly Westrich, director of health services research at the National Pharmaceutical Council, explains how large observational datasets like...
YouTube Videos

Taking Patient Variations Into Account

Dr. Lisa Egbuonu-Davis, founder of ROI Squared, explains that data is generally designed toward looking at the mean differences instead of the...
YouTube Videos

Understanding Individual Patients' Health Care Needs

Paul Martino, SVP of Clinical Strategy and Innovation at WellPoint, Inc., explains that it's important for payers and other health care stakeholders...
YouTube Videos

Dr. Allison-Ottey on Individualized Patient Care

Dr. Sharon Allison-Ottey, executive director of the COSHAR Foundation, explains that when it comes to ensuring optimal care for patients, all of...
Blog Post

#TBT: Enrollment Deadline & the Role of Rx in Health Exchanges

As part of our “Throwback Thursday” blog series, we’re taking a look at a research topic that’s currently in the news and tagging it with...
Blog Post

NPC Asks CMS to Consider Patients’ Individual Treatment Effects In Part D Rulemaking

The National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) today asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to consider maintaining “protected classes...
Blog Post

Relationship Between Individual Patient Differences and Health Outcomes

Despite the widely accepted fact that a patient’s biologic (e.g., age, race, genetic factors) and nonbiologic factors (e.g., social behaviors,...
Blog Post

Four Online Seminars Focus on Impact of Individual Treatment Effects on Drug Therapy

Health care decision-makers interested in understanding how heterogeneity, or individual treatment effects, impact patient health outcomes will...

Research

The Emerging Relevance of Heterogeneity of Treatment Effect in Clinical Care: A Study Using Stage IV Prostate Cancer as a Model

Although researchers and health care providers widely recognize that individuals with stage IV...

Principles for Planning and Conducting Comparative Effectiveness Research

A group of leading researchers developed a set of 13 best practice principles that could help to...
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Commentary & Testimony