The microeconomics of personalized medicine: today's challenge and tomorrow's promise

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2009 Apr;8(4):279-86. doi: 10.1038/nrd2825. Epub 2009 Mar 20.


'Personalized medicine' promises to increase the quality of clinical care and, in some cases, decrease health-care costs. Despite this, only a handful of diagnostic tests have made it to market, with mixed success. Historically, the challenges in this field were scientific. However, as discussed in this article, with the maturation of the '-omics' sciences, it now seems that the major barriers are increasingly related to economics. Overcoming the poor microeconomic alignment of incentives among key stakeholders is therefore crucial to catalysing the further development and adoption of personalized medicine, and we propose several actions that could help achieve this goal.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care / economics
  • Delivery of Health Care / trends
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine / economics
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine / trends
  • Drug Industry / economics
  • Drug Industry / trends
  • Economics / trends*
  • Humans
  • Personal Health Services / economics*
  • Personal Health Services / trends
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / economics
  • Pharmacogenetics / economics
  • Pharmacogenetics / trends


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations