Personalised medicines

DNA

​Moving on from the blockbuster era, personalised medicines enable us to target treatments specifically to patient subpopulations who are more likely to respond to a particular treatment.

This is also known as personalised healthcare (US) or stratified medicines (UK). It is "not about creating medicines unique to a patient, but rather the ability to classify individuals into subpopulations that differ in their susceptibility to a particular disease or their response to a specific treatment. Preventive or therapeutic interventions can then be concentrated on those who will benefit, sparing expense and side effects for those who will not”1. Critically, it also involves the development and use of companion diagnostics to achieve the best outcomes in the management of a patient’s disease.

An integrated approach

In the UK, the development and implementation of an integrated stakeholder strategy in personalised medicine will bring benefits to patients, but also prescribers, payers, and regulators; it will also improve the efficiency and productivity of developing new treatments, and enhance UK competitiveness and attractiveness for drug and diagnostic research and development (R&D).

On this front, the ABPI has been intensively engaged on the development of an integrated personalised medicine approach over an extended period, working closely with a range of partners such as:

  • The diagnostics sector
  • Research funders
  • Regulators
  • Healthcare providers and policymakers
  • Health informatics programmes
  • Health economists

Through our work with the Medical Research Council, we have seen good progress on the research front, with non-competitive collaborative partnerships established between pharmaceutical companies, universities and NHS centres, in areas of high disease burden such as respiratory inflammatory disease and joint inflammatory disease, and with Cancer Research UK (CRUK) in cancer research. More recently, a £50 million initiative in Stratified Medicine was launched by the Technology Strategy Board, to bring to reality the development of personalised healthcare.

Reference

  1. US President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology (PCAST).
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