The Economics of Personalized Medicine
Can companies investing in innovative liquid biopsy technologies continue to ignore healthcare economics?
Ilan Danieli |
As an economics-trained executive of a cancer diagnostics company, I often struggle to rationalize the business model and economic considerations of our healthcare environment. Most people are familiar with the statistic (ostensibly) stating that 90 percent of a patient’s healthcare costs are incurred during the last six months of their life. We also know that the value derived from that spend – as measured by patient quality of life during that period – is often questionable. Yet companies continue to develop products and services that feed into and worsen that statistic, rather than attempting to improve it. We routinely hear of a new “miraculous” chemotherapy drug that costs US$100,000 per regimen and extends patients’ lives by an average of about three months. This leads us to a complex question: How do we balance clinical, emotional, moral, and economic considerations? Are we, as a society, directing our resources in a sensible manner?
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