Introduction to Precise Health, Vol. 2

In this report, we discuss improving care and reducing waste, and give a short introduction to pharmacogenomics. We also provide two patient stories about coronary artery disease and breast cancer.

The wonder is not that doctors occasionally get it wrong when prescribing medication, it’s that they get it right so often.

There is already so much to consider —age, gender, weight, previous medical history and comorbidities, drugs already being taken, and problem being treated—but even that isn’t enough to provide the complete picture of how an individual will react to certain drugs. What if you could improve the treatment plan by knowing more about a person’s genetic makeup and by taking into account their “entire” picture?

What if you had instant access to decision support at the point of prescribing that told you whether an individual was likely to have an adverse reaction to a drug or whether it would have absolutely no effect at all? That, in essence, is what pharmacogenomics seeks to do: Take the guesswork out of prescribing medication by enabling clinicians to see how a person’s genetic makeup will influence their treatment plan.