A teenage girl probably wouldn’t wear the same clothes, consume the same food, or live in the same environment as her grandfather. However, when they both get sick, they’re likely to receive the same medical treatment, regardless of their bodies’ wants or needs.
And so will everyone else.
We’re all familiar with the traditional one-size-fits-all approach to medicine relying on mass-produced pills that often ignore how different people develop disease and respond to treatments.
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However, over the last few years, medical practitioners are shifting their focuses to personalized medicine, with the aim to create the right drug for the right patient at the right time. The new approach emphasizes your specific genetic makeup, and the ways in which your disease risks are unique and different, just like your other more obvious characteristics.
Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has for the first time approved the use of a 3D-printed pill. The first batch of pills are hoped to be launched in the first quarter of 2016. This positive step would give doctors ability to tailor drugs to patients. Doctors could change the dosage simply by altering the software.
The sky’s the limit. The growing role of personalized medicine is changing many pharmaceutical companies’ strategies. Technology advancement has accelerated the pace of discovery and lowered the cost.
Personalize medicine’s greatest progresses have been in cancer. Another area where personalized medicine’s made good impact is HIV/ AID. Other strides include: heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
In short, moving toward personalized medicine strategies may soon improve therapies for everything from mental health disorders to pain management. It enables doctors to provide more accurate diagnoses, provide better disease prevention, safer drug prescriptions and more effective treatments. It could be a major game-changer for the health industry.
And who’ll be the biggest beneficiaries? Us, humans.