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The Concept of Personalized Medicine

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The Concept of Personalized Medicine

Yvette Stubberfield

Strayer University

SCI 115

November 16, 2010

Professor Genevieve P. Freeman

Personalized Medicine is a new revolutionary break through for doctors and scientists, seeking to treat patients as individuals, based on the actual biology of the disease and not as a member of a population to their symptoms. The whole concept of this new modernized medicine is to avoid wasting time with traditional medicine and risk patients dying before they got the right medicine.
The Concept of Personalized Medicine Personalized Medicine is a new revolutionary break through for doctors and scientists, seeking to treat patients as individuals, based on the actual biology of the disease and not as a member of a population to their symptoms. The whole concept of this new modernized medicine is to avoid wasting time with traditional medicine and risk patients dying before they got the right medicine. Scientists have been working on Pharmacogenetics project which is a study of how an individual inheritance variation in genes affect to the body response to a particular drug. Every human being is different and has a unique sequence of genetic information. Individuals respond to drugs differently based on their genes, proteins and environment factors such as: smoking, occupational exposures, alcohol and drug use, exercise and diseases. This study will help tailor drugs to fit our genes, (the right dose of the right drug at the right time) and preventive option for our individual health. The goal is to provide a mapping of our genes for your personal physician to customize a wellness program for each individual. For example, BRCA1/BRCA2, screening in women with a significant family history may help predict their risk for Breast or ovarian cancer. In Cambridge, a new industry is quietly taking shape that proposes to do that on a grand scale, as companies with names like Biogen, Genzyme, Gentics Institute and Millennium Pharmaceuticals-Zeus’ home – prepare to change forever the way doctors fight disease. They’re not alone: spurred by the prospect of scientific glory and enormous profit, big pharmaceutical firms and university and government labs have been joined by scores of new companies. It’s a virtual gold rush to mine the mountain of potentially valuable data the genome contains (Lemonick, 2001). The survey found that 50 percent of trials now collect DNA from participants to help find “biomarkers” that correlate with a drug’s effectiveness of safety issues. Some 30 percent of the companies said they now require all compounds in development to have a biomarker. The report notes that personalized medicine might be making drug development more complicated, not less. And while some companies are interest in biomarkers to help understand how a drug is working in the body, they are less enthusiastic about the establishment of required tests before a drug can be used. Still growing cost pressures on health care could make it inevitable that drugs will be used only for the patients most likely to benefit from them (Pollack, 2010). The advantage of Personalized Medicine is to target therapies: only give drugs to patients who will respond; only give to patients who will not have adverse side effects; it can also potentially rescue many useful drugs that that fail because of the adverse effect on a small population. This brings us the ethical issues as to should we be investing in Pharmacogenomic testing, when the public that are tested don’t understand, and their physicians may not understand, and make decisions that are ill-found. Also, the concerns about genetic privacy/discrimination by insurance companies, health care providers and employers, although Congress passed “The Law Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act to protect individuals against discrimination (in health insurance or employment) based on their genetic information. This law is to encourage Americans to take advantage of genetic testing as part of their medical care. However, this law does not pertain to life insurance. We have to educate our future doctors, insurance provider and employer that prevented health care benefits us all. References

Works Cited

Lemonick, M. D. (2001). Brave New Pharmacy. Time Magazine , 1-2.
Pollack, A. (2010). Drug Companies Pursue Personalized Medicine Approach. The Business of Health Care .

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