Personalised medicine is based on the observation that patients with the same diagnosis react to the same treatment in different ways. While a drug can be highly effective for one patient, the same drug might not show the desired results when given to a second patient with the same diagnosis.
Personalised medicine aims at improved prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases by using patients’ individual characteristics to identify the most appropriate care.
Substantial progress has been made in personalised medicines, for instance in the diagnosis and treatment of many cancers. Thanks to an increasing knowledge of the root cause of the diseases at molecular level, we already have the ability to make a more precise diagnosis of various diseases and potential treatments, based on specific and measurable markers. Personalised medicines can now target treatments to better defined populations of patients, which are bigger than rare diseases but much smaller than conventional indications, and hence are more likely to respond to that treatment.
However, the current model of medicines research and development is becoming less viable financially, owing to a combination of factors such as: the unsustainable growth in the cost of drug development, a regulatory environment that does not yet reflect the latest scientific advances and uncertainties over price and reimbursement, as well as explosion of post marketing requirements.
Therefore, to fully exploit the potential of personalised medicines, the regulatory and healthcare frameworks have to evolve apace with the scientific progress, which delivers better and more predictive research and development tools and methods.
The EBE Personalised Medicines Task Force is tackling these challenges. The Task Force mission is to:
- Promote personalised medicines
- Educate all stakeholders on what is personalised medicines, how it can improve patients’ health by improving prevention, diagnosis and treatment, and by using the patients’ individual characteristics to identify the most appropriate care
- Ensure a favorable legislative environment to allow innovative medicines to be developed