Round Table Politics and Media

Friday, 16. September 2011 | 11:45 Uhr




Peter Suter, President of SAMS, Heini Murer, University of Zurich, Manfred Manser, health expert, Matthias Meili, science journalist and former National Counsellor and Doctor Paul Günter joined the round table. The discussion was chaired by Nik Walter from the newspaper SonntagsZeitung. One of the biggest challenges is communication, according to the experts. Until now, personalized medicine has not received the attention by the media it deserved. This is – amongst other reasons – due to the fact that it is highly complex and difficult to inform about the issue. Media representatives expect science to fulfil its obligation with the media. Scientists have learnt over the past decade. However, development has taken place and media coverage has to be at a short term and up-to-date. The scientific community, however, wants journalists to report on a medium to long term basis.

Patients, insurance holders and even doctors often have a wrong understanding of the term personalized medicine. They often refer to patient-centred treatments which is not the case. From a medical and political point of view, there are three worries to the mentioned: costs, transparent patient and risks of the unproven methods. Insurers expect from new methods that the cost/benefit ratio is adequate and new methods are handled correspondingly. Today, it is only possible to talk about principles, while we do not know a lot about the costs. Problems with data protection are considerable. Data protection and privacy are needed. However, the developments cannot be stopped and it has to be discussed how data protection and privacy are dealt with.

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