May 10, 2017 – Precision Medicine and Drugs


Anchor lead: Drugs prices might fall if we could accurately predict who’s likely to benefit from them, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Not everyone with a particular health issue responds to every drug, and one way to stem the tide of exorbitant drug prices is to only use them in those who would benefit. That’s the promise of precision medicine, says Redonda Miller, president of the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Miller: We know that right now we tend to blanket prescribe medications for all patients with a condition, and we know full well that some patients will respond and some won’t. But we have no ability to be precise, no ability to predict which patients derive benefit from which treatments. Precision medicine will allow us to do just that. Whether it’s harnessing the power of genetics, whether it’s factoring in environmental conditions, it will allow us to better target therapies for individual patients. :29

Miller says many initiatives underway at Hopkins are doing just that, utilizing a variety of blood markers and other assessments to determine who will respond, noting that this also reduces the potential for unwanted side effects for nonresponders. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.