Please login to the form below

Not currently logged in

Personalised medicine can improve treatment, but access still an issue

Barriers to access could harm uptake of potentially transformative therapies

personalised medicine

Personalised medicines such as gene therapies may improve identification of optimal treatment but gaining access to these treatments still poses an issue, according to a new report from GlobalData. 

According to the new report 'The State of Personalised/Precision Medicine' from the data and analytics company, the key benefit of these treatments is an improved selection for an optimal treatment path.

This benefits both patients and healthcare systems – the aim of personalised and precision medicines is to decrease the use of ineffective medicines in specific patient populations.

“When a disease has different patient segments, it’s possible that not all will respond to a particular medicine the same way, if at all. By identifying patient subgroups through biomarker analysis, personalised medicine will help identify which groups may benefit from a given treatment,” said Michael Breen, associate director at GlobalData.

“This helps the patient get the most appropriate treatment more quickly, saving money for the payer since they are less likely to reimburse ineffective therapeutics,” he added.

Personalised medicine has been hailed as a novel and potentially transformative development for the life sciences industry, with the continuing study of the human genome possibly addressing some of the biggest challenges in healthcare today.

For example, NHS England has already committed to focusing on earlier diagnosis and increased personalised medicines for cancer and rare disease patients. It has also launched the Genomics Medicine Service, which aims to deliver routine clinical care for patients with inherited rare diseases and certain forms of cancer.

GlobalData's report also highlights that most of the attention around personalised medicine has been in oncology, but has pointed to the unmet need for expansion into other therapy areas.

“While oncology has led the way in terms of precision medicine development, these therapies are positioned to fulfil unmet needs in other therapeutic areas,” said Fern Barkalow, senior director at GlobalData.

“Approximately 90% of the top-marketed precision medicine therapies in 2018 were approved for oncology indications, and these can serve as a roadmap for development of precision medicine drugs in other therapeutic areas,” she added.

This could be due to the fact that currently, precision medicines including gene and cell therapies are expensive to manufacture. This also in turn makes these medicines more expensive to purchase and reimburse, which could pose a difficulty for healthcare systems when coming to approving them.

“Due to trials being inherently more complex and expensive to conduct for personalised medicines, these costs ultimately are passed down to the end user, resulting in these drugs being priced at a premium, and likely being more intensely scrutinised at the level of reimbursement,” said Breen.

For the NHS, access to these medicines means working with industry to fast-track applications. In particular, NHS England’s chief executive Simon Stevens highlighted ‘tumour agnostic drugs’ which target specific genetic mutations found across a number of cancer types.

Part of the plans to enable access to these therapies includes bringing together different cancer specialists to ensure patients who could benefit are identified, embedding tests for these genomic mutations within existing cancer pathways and ensuring that the unique characteristics of these treatments are valued appropriately through the NICE process.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

8th November 2019

From: Healthcare



COVID-19 Updates and Daily News

Featured jobs


Add my company
Dice Medical Communications

Dice Medical Communications is an independent communications agency that works with our clients to help launch, build, and continually develop...

Latest intelligence

How Far Do You Want To Go?
Join OPEN Health's virtual careers event on Tuesday 10th November, 15:00–17:00 GMT and discover where a career in medical communications could take you…...
"Fishbowl" Web Meeting for Internal POA Discussions: a Customer Story
Learn how our client successfully carried out a set of three virtual plan of action (POA) discussions, including one internal “Fishbowl” web meeting....
Whats the difference between patient engagement and patient experience?
We all talk a lot about patient engagement and patient experience. And sometimes, these terms are used interchangeably across the industry. But while they’re both important, they’re not the same....