'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.