Personalized Medicine Essay examples

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Personalized Medicine: The Future of Health Care? Helena Carroll November 18, 2012 Science 115 Professor Lynn Roginsky Strayer University

Personalized Medicine: The Future of Health Care? Pharmacogenomics is the study of genomes and the structure of the genomes within DNA strands for use in healthcare. Technology has enabled scientists to map DNA and catalogue genome sequences and opened the door for a personal approach to health care. All this was made possible starting with a thirteen year project conducted by scientists worldwide to map genome sequencing in human DNA. In 2003 the Human Genome Project was finalized IN 2003 giving scientists a blueprint for human genetics and the possibility of using this information to personalize health care in ways never before considered. Many clinical scientists and researchers believe that personalized medicine is the future of healthcare. Scientist and researchers are putting this approach to use to see if there are tangible benefits to health care in different studies around the world. In 2010 doctors at St. Jude and Washington University St. Louis began the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project in which the genomes of over six hundred cancer patients were read. To date this project has been successful in identifying genetic mistakes responsible for childhood eye and brain tumors and an aggressive form of leukemia in children; which will help understand the genetic bases of these diseases and help to better treat them. These results and that of other research projects are promising indeed and certainly point to a drastic turning point in patient care. If personalized medicine were to be universally adopted by doctors there would be many benefits. The fact that doctors would be able to tell what medications are safe and effective for a specific patient is, for many reasons, the greatest benefit of the genome approach to medicine. First and foremost it would reduce deaths due to fatal drug reactions. Not only would it reduce fatal or unpleasant drug reactions it would reduce rehospitalization of patients because they get the needed treatment the first time around. Another benefit of this approach is that it would eliminate the trial and error method of prescribing medicines, as well as pinpoint dosage amounts, which would save patients time and money wasted on medications that aren’t effective for them. Like all things in life, personalized medicine is not a perfect solution and has a couple drawbacks. One of the major concerns of many patients is the cost associated with health care and unfortunately one of the big issues with this approach is that it will be expensive for patients. Doctors will, of course, charge to run the tests, however given the many tests we are often charged for already I do not think the increase, if any at all, in the doctors bill will be too drastic. The good news here is that it is probable that insurance will cover the cost of this testing; currently there are 28 insurance companies that cover genetic testing for the drug Plavix. The cost of gene based medications will also most likely cost more than their current alternatives which could mean a huge increase in the money patients spend on medications which is already generally high. The only other serious drawback, as of yet, to this approach is getting doctors on…