Perhaps the most crucial industry trend is "Companion Diagnostics," which we refer to as "personalized medicine testing," or "pharmacogenomics." These tests provide information based on the particular genetic or epigenetic information of each individual patient. This information is used to offer prognosis, identify effective therapies, or select correct drug dosages. In other words, through the use of individualized medical information, doctors can tailor treatment and consulting for each individual patient.
Personalized tests are penetrating laboratories’ clinical test menu. There are over twenty personalized tests on the market, representing close to $300 million in annual revenues in the United States. Personalized tests include Her 2, FISH, BCR-ABL, Oncotype Dx, and more.
The average price of a personalized test is typically 2-15 times higher than that of a standard molecular diagnostics test, and it generally runs from $500 to $3500. The rationale behind the acceptance of these higher priced tests is based on their cost-effectiveness; the knowledge gained from this testing, and the preventive treatment obtained, can help the patient avoid costlier treatments at a later, more critical date. Many of these costlier treatments can be 5-15 times higher than the personalized testing.
Personalized tests are considered a rational therapeutic intervention, and are focused on prognosis, toxicity, drug metabolism and drug selection. In the near future, personalized medicine will afford patients increased opportunities to test for personal disease risk. By consulting with their doctor, patience can help prevent the development of progression of that disease.