Precision medicine: Industry trends and challenges every pharma company should know

Precision medicine is an innovative treatment method that tailors healthcare for patients based on genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors unique to each. This technique is enabling doctors and researchers to predict treatments and prevention strategies for specific diseases bound to be effective for specific subsets of patients that share extremely similar symptoms, responses and other traits. Although the field is still developing, researchers are working to improve procedures for genetic testing in healthcare settings, integrate genetic/metabolic makeup studies, and integrate these studies into the traditional healthcare process. 

A quick market overview

The precision medicine market was valued at USD 2.1 Trn in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 5.7 Trn by 2030, poised to expand at a CAGR of 11.6% during the forecast period. The development of new therapeutic approaches including gene therapy for cancer treatment and an increase in the number of patients undergoing predictive diagnosis are propelling the market.

As precision medicine focuses on finding alternative treatments for oncological diseases, this focus will likely become more intense. The major centers for precision medicine in oncology are in Europe and the US, where research is being conducted with accelerated funding from the government.  

Related reading: The evolution of precision medicine and how pharma firms are keeping pace

Despite challenges, researchers have shown how precision medicine techniques could reverse severe lung disorders, improve heart disease treatment, and boost cancer patient outcomes. Based on our in-house research, here are a few key trends and challenges that are likely to impact the market next year. 

  • Oncology and cardiovascular disease treatments will claim a higher market share 

The global oncology precision medicine market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 11.6% reaching USD 64.7 billion in 2027. A recent study involving 130 oncologists from the US and Europe, revealed that more than 80% believe precision oncology is important. To put it in a nutshell, the factors driving precision and personalized medicine in the field of cancer treatment are:

  • Adoption of immunotherapy and usage of new diagnostic technologies and bioinformatics tools
  • Increased interest in identifying and characterizing genomic biomarkers
  • Molecular testing to improve prognosis, therapeutic decision-making and outcomes
  • Tools like Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) enable a comprehensive tumor profile of each patient

As for its progress within the realm of cardiovascular treatments, the precision cardiology market was at USD 1.01 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 12.8% by 2030. The declining cost of sequencing methods and increasing awareness of early screening of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) is accelerating market growth. Moreover, genomic approaches are helping diagnose and treat familial cardiovascular diseases, analyze drug-gene interaction and identify individuals facing increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

  •  US will continue to lead the global market scene 

While the US suffered setbacks in medical research given the increased emphasis on COVID-19, precision medicine remains its prime area of focus and will continue to hold ground in the future. As part of the country’s Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), established in 2015, the FDA and V.A. collaborate on building research, data capacity and policies to improve precision medicine in treating diseases, putting the US at the forefront of other countries in this field.

  • Research in non-oncology therapy will improve

As genomic research increases precision medicine is likely to shift from oncology to non-oncology areas as well. In addition to cancer, researchers are exploring its applications in infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. With the growth of precision medicine, pharmacogenomics -the study of gene responses to drugs is also growing to evaluate how drugs work. Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing region in the non-oncology precision medicine market with India holding the highest market share within this region.

  • Advancements in tools and technology

With technology at its core, precision medicine helps clinical practitioners decide what tests are necessary and how genetic data should be used to make informed treatment decisions. As per Health Europa, the UK Government, in 2019, spent nearly EUR 272.1 million in the domain of precision medicine to develop novel diagnostic tools, treatments and medical products. In countries like the US and Canada, precision medicine is at a mature stage in part due to the adoption of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) and technologies like gene sequencing, diagnostics, and more.

Market challenges that players will encounter  

  • High costs 

Precision medicines are anticipated to be more expensive than regular medicines. It’s not surprising to see new or novel healthcare innovations have a bigger price tag in the ramp-up period. For example, it is expensive to sequence large quantities of DNA (although sequencing costs are decreasing). Besides, drugs developed to treat conditions based on genetic or molecular variations are not easily affordable.

  • Insurance coverage

Insurers do not cover genetic testing, which is essential to analyze mutations before prescribing precision medicine. If precision medication procedures are to become a part of routine healthcare, medical practitioners and healthcare providers alike will need to have a comprehensive understanding about molecular genetics and biochemistry. The lack of clinical utility appeared to be the determining factor for coverage of some of the tests, despite evidence of strong links between genotype and disease risk or drug effectiveness.

  • Insufficient literature 

Physicians express little confidence in making clinical decisions given the limited literature on precision medicine. Lack of expertise was the primary barrier to entering the precision medicine space for organizations without a precision medicine program. Many organizations may require guidance before entering this area of healthcare because of the complexity of the clinical methods involved, and the structuring of data, disease knowledge, and the support staff required to set up the program.

Advances in precision medicine have already led to critical new discoveries and several new treatments tailored to specific characteristics of a patient. Our in-house healthcare experts have put together an insightful report ‘Precision Medicine – Owning the Healthcare Spotlight’ available on request. Simply drop us a line to get your copy and uncover this evolving landscape and how your business can harness the right opportunities. 

Netscribes provides end-to-end healthcare market research to global organizations across a gamut of medical domains. To know how we can help you gain a deeper understanding of your market to make timely navigations and strategic moves for a competitive edge, contact us today.

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