Companion Diagnostics – Partnering for Personalized Medicine

September 15, 2010 · 3 comments

Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M. Sc, MPH

When the Human Genome Project was finally completed with the mapping of the genetic sequences of our DNA, there were many predictions about how the face of medicine would change forever. We would finally figure out how to cure diseases linked to genetic aberrations, find ways to enhance our interaction with the environment, and develop medicines that are tailored to fit our unique genome. But a decade later, we are all aware of just how painfully slow progress has been to date. However, one area that is advancing steadily is the use of companion diagnostics.

Everyone was quick to point to Herceptin and the prototype example of a diagnostic test that was required to be use prior to prescribing this chemotherapeutic agent for women with breast cancer that over-expressed the HER2/neu gene. But now there are more examples of such companion diagnostics, and the list continues to grow.

What does all this mean for the future of medicine, and the interaction among the diagnostic and biopharmaceutical companies? When we can go to a physician’s office, be correctly diagnosed, and then given a medicine to take knowing in advance that we will have a high probability of responding, without suffering from annoying side effects, then we will have personalized medicine.

Does that mean that people will have ... read more »

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High Healthcare Costs–Well, What Do You Expect?

July 16, 2010 · Leave a comment

Industry Insights from Paul Meade, M. Sc, MPH

We all know that the cost of providing healthcare has been steadily rising throughout the world over the last few decades. While there are many nations that have very little healthcare services, there are those with an over-abundance of such care delivery. People everywhere have begun to see healthcare as an entitlement, rather than a privilege. And why is this so?

After World War II, many governments quickly realized that a healthy workforce is a productive workforce, and as such, began to adopt various forms of subsidized healthcare to offer to their citizens. Most countries introduced a form of universal healthcare provided by a single payer, the government. These central governments for the most part decided what products and services they would offer to their people, based on what they could afford with their budgets. For some countries, this was very little, and only the privileged few, while other countries offered everyone some form of healthcare coverage. The United States was different. They rejected the notion of a government-organized healthcare system and opted for the privatization of healthcare. After all, the U.S. was founded as a free nation that broke the shackles of the British monarch. And besides, the medical profession did not want to be constrained by the tyranny of a controlling government ... read more »

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