What is it?

Personalised medicine is “… a medical model using characterization of individuals’ phenotypes and genotypes (e.g., molecular profiling, medical imaging, lifestyle data) for tailoring the right therapeutic strategy for the right person at the right time, and/or to determine the predisposition to disease and/or to deliver timely and targeted prevention” (Definition from the European Council Conclusion on personalised medicine for patients (2015/C 421/03))

How does Personalised Medicine relate to HEcoPerMed?

In an era of persistent and increasing pressure on health care budgets across Europe due to demographic change, unbalanced national age pyramids, increased demand of care and rising health care costs, personalised medicine is the hope of many patients, health experts, and policy makers to find and implement more efficient and effective ways to cure diseases. Personalised medicine aims to optimally match patient and treatment by assessing the characteristics of patients in which treatments yield (the most) results.

Personalised medicine reflects a paradigm change in health care by no longer focusing on the impact of interventions on group means, but rather on individual differences between patients through deep phenotyping and genotyping by using biomarkers, (bio)imaging, functional parameters and others.

Personalised medicine is promising as it is expected to increase efficiency through better targeting of treatments. However, while the development of personalised medicine treatments is generally an academic endeavour, its commercialization is often profit-oriented, reducing the efficiency potential of technologies through high pricing. Commercially marketed products such as biomarkers are frequently priced at the margin, following companies’ analyses of ‘what the market can bear’, rather than based on the health benefit to patients. Therefore, there is a need for economic models evaluating personalised medicine interventions, as well as analysis of payment models that support innovation and link financial reward to health outcomes.