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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.”

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Press Release

Fellowship in Health Care Policy Available Through a Partnership of the National Pharmaceutical Council and Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University

WASHINGTON, DC (September 17, 2014)–The National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC), in conjunction with Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken...
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Michael Ciarametaro Joins National Pharmaceutical Council as Director of Research

Washington, DC (July 31, 2014)—The National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) today announced that Michael Ciarametaro has joined the health policy...
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NPC Study Outlines When & How Health Decision-Makers Should Consider Individual Patient Differences

Washington, DC (July 29, 2014)—New research led by the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) can assist health care stakeholders to understand when...
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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...
Commentary and Testimony Page

Chain Drug Review – Commentary: “Health Care Outlook for 2015”

This commentary was originally published in the January 5, 2015 issue of Chain Drug Review.By: Dan Leonard, President, National Pharmaceutical...
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...
YouTube Videos

Consumer-Directed Health Plans

A unique survey of large employers sheds light on the strategies and best practices that they follow when designing and implementing consumer-...
YouTube Videos

Engaging Consumers in Today's Changing Health Care Payment and Delivery Environment

The current health care delivery system is evolving from a fee-for-service system to one that is performance-based. How does this shift impact...
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

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...
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It is the time of year when many employers, insurance companies and health exchanges are finalizing decisions about coverage and benefit options for...
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As part of our “Throwback Thursday” blog series, we’re taking a look at a topic that’s currently in the news and tagging it with previous...
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#TBT: Men’s Health Month & Differences in Prostate Cancer Treatment

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