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The Value(s) of Precision Medicine: A Masterclass with Barbara Prainsack

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CCANESA Boardroom, Madsen Building

Eastern Avenue

University of Sydney

Sydney, NSW 2006

Australia

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A masterclass on precision medicine for HDR and ECR researchers, facilitated by Professor Barbara Prainsack

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ABSTRACT

Proponents of Precision Medicine argue that the matching of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring to molecular and digital representations of individual patients will make healthcare safer, cheaper, and more effective. This happens against the backdrop of a growing emphasis on the shift “from volume to value” in many other healthcare contexts. In an attempt to reduce “waste”, overdiagnosis and overtreatment within the healthcare systems, a range of incentives have been created to reward healthcare providers for improving value instead of increasing the volume of interventions. Amidst lively discussions of how value should be measured, however, there has been virtually no discussion on what value is. This Masterclass explores how Precision Medicine, with its programmatic focus on individual patients, could – perhaps counterintuitively – shed light on the substantive meaning of value in healthcare. The goal is to depart from a narrow understanding of value in terms of economic cost-effectiveness and to bring personal, “subjective” meaning as well as systemic, “communal” considerations including equity and fairness into the debate on value-based healthcare. We will explore to what extent value-based healthcare needs a type of personalised medicine that sees patients as relational beings who are inseparably linked to their social, natural environments, and how, in turn, a new understanding of value in healthcare could shape practices of personalisation and “precision”.

BIO

Barbara Prainsack is a Professor at the Department of Political Science at the University of Vienna, and at the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine at King’s College London. In Vienna she directs the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Solidarity (CeSCoS). Her work explores the social, regulatory and ethical dimensions of biomedicine and bioscience, with current research projects focusing on personalised and “precision” medicine, on citizen participation in science and medicine, and the role of solidarity in medicine and healthcare.

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CCANESA Boardroom, Madsen Building

Eastern Avenue

University of Sydney

Sydney, NSW 2006

Australia

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