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Obama Wants US to Lead a 'New Era' of Medicine

U.S. President Barack Obama, Jan. 27, 2015.

U.S. President Barack Obama wants to invest $215 million into a new health initiative that would help tailor medical treatment to an individual's genetic make-up.

In a proposal unveiled on Friday, President Obama said that the bulk of the money would go to the National Institutes of Health and its affiliate, the National Cancer Institute for the development of "precision medicine;" a treatment that would replace a "one size fits all" approach to medicine.

"The precision medicine initiative we’re launching today will lay the foundation for a new generation of lifesaving discoveries," Obama said. "We will be able to treat all sorts of diseases that we have no idea how to tackle right now."

An earlier White House Statement said "most medical treatments have been designed for the 'average patient' a result ..treatments can be very successful for some patients, but not for others."

The funding would be used to collect gene, chemical, lifestyle and other data from one million volunteers who would be studied to determine how genetic variants affect health and disease.

But first, the initiative, which is part of the Democratic president's 2016 budget, must be approved by the Republican-controlled Congress.

Obama said in his recent State of the Union address that he wants "the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine."

Material for this report came from AFP and Reuters.

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