Nordic countries put focus on personalised medicine

Nordic countries put focus on personalised medicine

Personalised medicine, tailoring the right therapeutic strategy to the right person at the right time, is one of the areas where the Nordic countries can play an important role through cooperation. Now, The Joint Committee for the Nordic Medical Research Councils (NOS-M) presents conclusions, opportunities and recommendations in a newly published report.

Professor Jan-Ingvar Jönsson of the Swedish Research Council and Chairman of NOS-M, says:

“There is a need for a joint Nordic funding initiative for research in personalised medicine. The focus should be on the utilisation of health data from registers and biobanks or other health data resources, including omics data in research. These areas in which the Nordic countries are strong but where mutual efforts would be beneficial,” and adds:

“There is also a need for joint Nordic efforts and competence networks in rare diseases and cancer. NOS-M could play an important role in funding strategic Nordic network activities in such areas.”

Nordic potential in personalised medicine

In the NOS-M white paper from 2014, personalised medicine was identified as one of the areas where cooperation can enable the Nordic countries to become leaders. The theme was explored further in a workshop organised by NOS-M in Stockholm in November 2016. Some of the findings from the workshop were that personalised medicine may lead to major improvements in health care, but policy directives need to be aligned at a Nordic level.

The workshop in Stockholm was followed up by a mapping exercise focusing on personalised medicine strategies and initiatives within the Nordic countries as well as some of the major international initiatives.

Read the full report on Personalised Medicine from the NOS-M Committee here.


What is Personalised Medicine?
There is no commonly agreed definition of the term personalised medicine but for instance, the European Council conclusions on personalised medicine for patients has a broad definition of the term, stating that ‘personalised medicine relates to the broader concept of patient-centred care, which takes into account that, in general, health care systems need to better respond to patient needs.’

What is NOS-M?
The Joint Committee of the Nordic Medical Research Councils (NOS-M) is a collaborating body for the Nordic research councils that finance medical research. The NOS-M secretariat is hosted by NordForsk.

Read more about NOS-M here.

Text: Marianne Knudsen

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