The Way Forward: Personalized Healthcare

In my recent article for the Huffington Post, I wrote about what I and many believe is the future of healthcare – personalized medicines.

I’m not talking about the name on a prescription; I’m talking about incredible advances that researchers are making in the development of new medicines that tap into an individual’s genetic makeup and give them the best possible outcomes when fighting a disease or chronic illness.

As I mentioned in the article, Canada can and already has begun to play a role in this new frontier of health science. A new research project in British Columbia is looking at how a patients’ DNA could affect the way their body reacts to the medications they take. University of British Columbia lead researcher Dr. Corey Nislow says there are more than 150 medications that are impacted by an individual’s DNA and that the project is “about using that genetic information to make decisions about which medications are right for a patient.”  This novel project, supported by the Rx&D Health Research Foundation, Genome BC and a group of member companies including AstraZeneca Canada, GSK, Janssen, Merck, Pfizer Canada and Roche, could lead to the development of tools that can highlight a patient’s potential for adverse drug reactions.

In Ontario, Canadian researchers have begun a clinical trial, funded by the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, to determine whether two virus strains can treat certain types of cancer more effectively and with fewer side effects.

The ability to identify the best possible therapy for a patient can not only be life-changing but also save time, money and precious healthcare resources.

For a guide to unique treatments for better health, see our page on specialty medicines.

Russell Williams
President of Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D)

Huffington Post Article: What Personalizing Health Care Might Mean for You

 

Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D)