Growth in preventive personalized medicine could increase life expectancy



Americans could see improvements in their quality of life and life expectancy if more of them utilize personalized and precision medicine (PPM), according to an opinion piece by Dr. Victor J. Dzau, president of the Institute of Medicine, Washington, D.C., and his colleagues.

“Applications of personalized and precision medicine aimed at prevention have the potential to generate substantial value for society,” the authors wrote.

This opinion is based on the authors’ analysis of an assessment of the benefits and costs of PPM innovations designed to improve screening and risk-factor stratification technologies for identifying presymptomatic individuals at high risk for specific diseases. Dr. Dzau and his associates assumed that the preventive PPM interventions permanently reduced the incidence of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, lung disease, and stroke by a fixed percentage beginning in 2012 and needed to be sustained over a lifetime. Benefits were computed by looking at life expectancy and quality-adjusted life expectancy gains during the subsequent 50 years. Values of health were expressed in dollars using $100,000 per quality-adjusted life year.

According to the assessment performed with the Health Economics Medical Innovation Simulation, a PPM innovation that reduced the incidence of the six aforementioned diseases by 10% would generate between $33 billion and $114 billion per disease in the form of longer lives. When the incidence of the diseases was reduced by 50%, the values of health generated ranged from $161 billion to $607 billion. In both scenarios, reductions in heart disease generated the highest number of quality-adjusted life years.

Dr. Dzau and his associates acknowledged that “PPM treatments that might generate less value overall, but provide greater short-term returns” are favored in the current reimbursement environment.

Read the full paper in the Lancet (2015 [doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60722-X]).

Next Article: