Scott Harrington, Pharmaceutical Journal, Precision Medicine Initiative

Scott Harrington, Pharmaceutical Journal, Precision Medicine Initiative

Questions Government's New Biotechnology Initiative

An article in the journal of the British Royal Pharmaceutical Society quotes Wharton Professor Scott Harrington on the "Precision Medicine Initiative" proposed by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union Speech.

That White House initiative will reportedly seek a $215 million budget item to fund a more coordinated national research effort focused on the genetic connections to cancer and encourage development of the "personalized" drugs that attack the disease more effectively. One element of the initiative would be the creation of a new national "biobank" that would gather genetic information from millions of people.

In his interview with the Pharmaceutical Journal, Harrington, PhD, who chairs Wharton's Health Care Management Department and is a Professor of both Insurance and Risk Management and Business Economics, said, "The case for major new government funding for particular types of medical research is problematic, and there’s no guarantee that such an initiative will prove fruitful."

Harrington, who is also an LDI Senior Fellow, questioned the government's entry into the field of genomics when substantial incentives already exist for private companies to research and identify genetic links to diseases.