Sunday, September 13, 2009

Adrienne Carlson's Personalized Medicine.

Why Personalized Medicine?

There’s no doubt that mankind is advancing in leaps and bounds in all spheres, and when it comes to medicine, advancement is absolutely imperative if we are too keep ahead of the new diseases that are constantly plaguing us. If we consider it on a deeper level, personalized medicine is something that would benefit each of us, if we had the wherewithal to pay for the expense that it entails. In essence, it boils down to analyzing our gene sequence and deciding on the best treatment that our bodies are likely to respond to.

Personalized medicine will pave the way for the more effective treatment of diseases like diabetes and coronary issues, illnesses that are based on hereditary factors and our gene sequence. If we were to explain it in layman’s terms, it’s like going to an exclusive tailor and getting a suit custom-made for your size and shape without having to resort to buying one off the shelf, one that is often ill-fitting either over the shoulders or around the waist and hips. We don’t have too much control or say in what we buy directly from the store – the closest we can get to control is to buy a size that we think is right for us, one that does not really fit the way we would like it to.

Personalized medicine is good because it is preventive in nature; it helps prevent hereditary conditions rather than try to maintain and cure them after they manifest in our bodies. While it may be expensive initially, if personalized medicine advances through continued research, the healthcare industry will be able to save a huge amount of dollars in money spent on treating diabetes and other hereditary diseases that cripple and even kill.

Some forms of personalized medicine are already here to stay – drugs that attempt to change your genetic predisposition to certain diseases are already on the market and come with warning tags that are supposed to prevent other people, those without these genetic markers, from taking them.

It’s a nascent field, one that holds much promise, and if allowed to grow, will prove to be a boon to mankind.


This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of nurse practitioner schools . Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address:

The Sherpa Says: Be kind, she is a nice lady.


Molecular Creativity said...

“If we are to achieve higher quality care for all Americans at a sustainable cost, we must look to those changes that improve the productivity of healthcare in the same way that we see quality gains traveling hand-in-hand with lower costs in other sectors throughout our economy. Personalized medicine seeks to use advances in knowledge about genetic factors and biological mechanisms of disease coupled with unique considerations of an individual’s patient care needs to make healthcare more safe and effective. As a result of these contributions to improvement in the quality of care, personalized medicine represents a key strategy of healthcare reform. The potential application of this new knowledge, especially when supported through the use of health information technology in the patient care setting, presents the opportunity for transformational change.
Today, it is common for a medical product to be fully effective for only about 60 percent of those who use it. As the medical community is now learning, this in part
reflects biological variation among individuals that affects the clinical response to medical interventions. In the past, they have not had the tools or knowledge
to understand those differences. In the future, when doctors can truly prescribe the right treatment, to the right person, at the right time, we will have a new level of precision and effectiveness that will provide the knowledge-driven power that
is necessary to achieve our highest goals in healthcare reform—including more effective disease prevention and early disease detection.”
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
Written testimony given during Senate confirmation hearings, April 2,

Anonymous said...

It's so nice to see someone who can write grammatical English post on this blog.

Kristine Ashcraft said...

I think that there would easily be a demonstrable ROI in the long term.

Consider this:
- Estimated annual cost of adverse drug reactions: $177,000,000,000.00
(J Am Pharm Assoc 41:192 2001)
- U.S. Population: 304,059,724
- Life expectancy in years -77.9 (
- Life time cost per person in ADRS - $45,347.34
- Cost of ADRS caused by medications processed by pathways with known poor metabolizer variants - $26,754.93
(Phillips KA, Veenstra DL, Oren E, Lee JK, Sadee W: Potential role of pharmacogenomics in reducing adverse drug reactions: a systematic review. JAMA 286 (18): 2270–9, 2001)
- $13,377.47 Cost of ADRS for 50% of patients with genetic variants
- 30% percentage of ADRs potentially attributable to genetic factors.
- $200 estimated cost of DME panel if widely done
- $60,811,944,800.00 estimated cost to test entire U.S population.
- .44% percentage of ADRS that need to be avoided to break even
- 10.34 ROI at 5% reduction
- 21.67 ROI at 10% reduction
- 33.01 ROI at 15% reduction

These estimates do not include cost savings for finding optimal therapy more quickly, from medication savings from lower dose requirements, or limiting inability to work due to prevention of serious ADRs.