Traditional medicines have long relied on the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, meaning that treatments can be very successful for some patients but not for others. In contrast, thanks to the combination of diagnostic and therapeutic products, personalised medicine takes into account individual differences in people’s genetic make-up, environments, and lifestyles, as well as the individual characteristics of each patient’s disease. As such, it can create more predictable outcomes and patient-tailored medical treatments.
Although recent scientific developments have brought us closer to making this concept a reality, the sector is still in its infancy, with a fragile and small market. Moreover, as a relatively new medical approach, personalised medicine will require changes in healthcare systems and practices to reach its full potential*.
Industry’s R&D programmes are gradually shifting to a more personalised approach, and the success of this shift depends on several impending issues in which all stakeholders will have to collaborate: from the consideration placed upon the economic and social value of personalised treatment when compared to a non-personalised treatment, and the consequence of that valuation in terms of government investment in this area, to the willingness of payers to reimburse such products.
These considerations will affect the pace of development and of access to market of personalised medicines. Equally important in the success of this paradigm shift will be the level of trust that healthcare professionals and patients have in personalised medicine, for which accessibility to better information and education is a prerequisite*
*, ** see this link for more information