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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

ASCO’s Clinical Pathways Recommendations and Remaining Challenges

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today released its “policy statement on clinical pathways in oncology,” which acknowledges the...
Blog Post

#TBT: “Talk About Your Medicines” Month & A Question Checklist for Patients

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 research...
Blog Post

How Can We Assess the Value of a Companion Diagnostic Test?

When President Obama pledged $215 million for a Precision Medicine Initiative during his State of the Union address earlier this year, he...
Blog Post

#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...
Press Release

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...
Press Release

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...
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 (...
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

When the Sound Bite Doesn’t Tell the Full Story

Not long ago, President Obama was asked at a press conference about comparative effectiveness research (CER) and how it fits into the health care...
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

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...
YouTube Videos

Payer Views of Individualized Health Care

Dr. Daniel Malone, professor at the University of Arizona School of Pharmacy, explains how payers view the issue of individualized therapy. He says...
YouTube Videos

Dr. Puckrein on the Issue of Individual Patient Differences

Dr. Gary Puckrein, founder and president of the National Minority Quality Forum, says that there is tremendous variability in how different patients...
Blog Post

ASCO’s Clinical Pathways Recommendations and Remaining Challenges

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today released its “policy statement on clinical pathways in oncology,” which acknowledges the...
Blog Post

#TBT: “Talk About Your Medicines” Month & A Question Checklist for Patients

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 research...
Blog Post

How Can We Assess the Value of a Companion Diagnostic Test?

When President Obama pledged $215 million for a Precision Medicine Initiative during his State of the Union address earlier this year, he...
Blog Post

#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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