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Managing Biotechnology by Glen Giovannetti, Francoise Simon

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Chapter 4Precision Medicine

What is Precision Medicine?

Precision medicine describes the process of getting the right drug to the right patient at the right time, thereby improving health outcomes. Sometimes called “individualized” or “personalized” medicine, precision medicine most often refers to the use of genetic technologies to determine whether an individual patient is likely to respond to a particular therapy. Today, most approved drugs are effective in only a subset of the patients who take them. Proponents of precision medicine envision a future in which drug therapy is tailored to each patient, leading to better results and lower costs, as wasteful, inappropriate therapy is reduced.

Precision medicine, in the form of molecularly targeted treatments, is already a reality in several types of cancer. But the concept is evolving to include any tools or data that help better tailor medicines and enhance outcomes. In this broader sense, precision medicine is being driven by, and indeed is part of, the many interrelated forces changing the healthcare landscape, including digital technologies, payers' quest for value, and consumer empowerment. Numerous hurdles may delay the widespread adoption of precision medicine. Yet it is already transforming biopharma R & D, commercialization strategies, and business models. Biopharma firms must help address the challenges facing precision medicine by adopting new mind-sets, embracing new digital technologies, and engaging in new kinds ...

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