Policy ForumBiomedical Innovation

How economics can shape precision medicines

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Science  17 Mar 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6330, pp. 1131-1133
DOI: 10.1126/science.aai8707

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Summary

Many public and private efforts in coming years will focus on research in precision medicine, developing biomarkers to indicate which patients are likely to benefit from a certain treatment so that others can be spared the cost—financial and physical—of being treated with unproductive therapies and therapeutic signals can be more easily uncovered. However, such research initiatives alone will not deliver new medicines to patients in the absence of strong incentives to bring new products to market. We examine the unique economics of precision medicines and associated biomarkers, with an emphasis on the factors affecting their development, pricing, and access.