Health Event “Precision Medicine : An Achievable Goal?”

On Thursday 10 December 2015 CMF President Lord Sheikh hosted an educational talk by distinguished arthritis specialist Professor Ian Bruce exploring the question “Precision Medicine : An Achievable Goal?”

The event in Committee Room 4 at the House of Lords was attended by over 50 guests. They all came to listen to Professor Ian N Bruce MD FRCP, Professor of Rheumatology at The University of Manchester, who is also Director of the NIHR Manchester Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Unit at Central Manchester University Foundation Trust.

Professor Bruce gave a fascinating presentation, with slides, discussing how precisely can diseases be treated in a way that is specific to the individual patient. He gave an in depth analysis of research in Rheumatology and the fact that there are 8 million people affected by the disease. Despite the complexity of the subject, Professor Bruce managed to make it accessible to the layman.

Professor Bruce alos talked about how research in the UK is fundedm and gave a breakdown of the various research being done by Medical Research Council  and the National Institute of Health Research. Whilst the NHS’s total budget is over £100 billion, the share devoted to research is under 3%.

For most people, the most fascinating part of the evening was listening to Professor Bruce on the general theme of medication. He he talked about medicine being “partly art, partly science.” Most drugs prescribing is on a trial and error / best guess basis, using the likely benefit to the average person. He talked about “personalised medicine” which would target the medicine to the individual patient, and “stratified medicine” which groups patients into categories to assess which medicine to use, being intermediate between using data for the average person and data for the specific individual.

The event was chaired by Dr Alam Ara Khan, Imam Ali Omar of the Greenwich Islamic Centre opened the event with a Quran recitation and CMF Chairman Mohammed Amin gave the vote of thanks.

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