Does precision medicine have a minority problem?

By Joshua Cohen, Forbes

Precision medicine holds the potential to revolutionize healthcare. From the year 2000, when President Clinton and Prime Minister Blair announced completion of the Human Genome Project, to the present, precision medicine has advanced to the point where it’s mainstreamed.

According to the Personalized Medicine Coalition, one third of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals in 2018 were personalized medicines. This implies that the label for these medicines “contains information designed to ensure that the drug is prescribed only to patients whose bodies express specific biological characteristics that make them highly likely to benefit from the treatment.”

While advances have been made across multiple therapeutic categories, oncology leads the way. More than 85% of the market for oncology drugs is now focused on targeted therapies.

In spite of its promise and success, however, personalized medicine could inadvertently create new disparities. This is due to the fact that almost 80% of individuals who have contributed DNA to genomics research are Caucasian. Read more …