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“It was perhaps the best demonstration yet — albeit only in an animal model — that stem cell biology sits potentially on the cusp of a completely new kind of clinical therapy, one in which a patient’s own cells are rebooted into an embryonic-like state, genetically repaired, differentiated back into a desired cell type, and returned to the body.”—
Individualized medicine is the future of pharmacy
As science advances, we can do better. Pharmacists practicing personalized medicine will develop individual drug therapies based on a patient’s genetic code. This is being aided by advances in conducting genetic testing in a rapid and relatively inexpensive manner.
You won’t be seeing as much of the “one dose fits all” brand of medicine that was practiced for generations. Instead, your pharmacist — using information culled from your genetic code — will develop a drug-therapy program specifically for you.
What works for me...
…may or may not work for you.
It all kind of depends on a number of underlying factors: genetic predispositions, epigenetic differences, environmental cues, social context, trauma and abuse, personality styles, and on and on.
We find groups of people that we identify with as we struggle to live life well, place meaning in our lives, deal with the pain and struggles, and seek help from ways of living that just don’t seem to work anymore.
I am an alcoholic. The meaning of this word resonates with me. The reason why I am lies across a myriad of genetic, environmental, psychological and spiritual factors which combined with a series of choices I made to push me beyond the limit that this label implies. I’m okay now with the label but I haven’t always been. It helps me to be cognizant of behavior that leads (or doesn’t lead) me to be my best version of me. The acknowledgement allows me then to pursue a journey of recovery and to address the underlying patterns, beliefs and situations that minimized my ability to choose.
But not all people recover in the same way. Some, in fact, never “recover” and this is quite sad. But still, some find AA, others church, others Lifering, others therapists, while others simply make a choice one day and never drink again. It’s quite interesting to see how the various pathways come about.
But then some become so ardent in the belief that what worked for them must work for everyone else. And so they proselytize. The argument goes…if you found the cure for cancer wouldn’t you want to tell everyone? Unfortunately, the argument is more like “there are various kinds of cancers and you’ve found the particular variation that was specific to you.” There certainly are similarities that one can see in and amongst varieties of sub-groups (like Her2+ forms of breast cancer) and sometimes the prescription may be helpful. But many times its not and its ineffective at best, damaging at worst.
I am a big fan of the notion of personalized medicine just as much as I am for a personalized treatment program or spiritual program or education program. That said, I still have a sense that there are overarching notions of characteristics or qualities that connect to human health but the path to each may be quite diverse.
Supreme court unanimously rules against personalized medicine patent!
Just a few minutes ago the Supreme Court released their decision in the Mayo case, see here for the Simply Statistics summary of the case. The court ruled unanimously that the personalized medicine test could not be patented. Such a strong ruling likely has major implications going forward for the field of personalized medicine. At the end of the day, this decision was based on an interpretation of statistical correlation. Stay tuned for a special in-depth analysis in the next couple of days that will get into the details of the ruling and the implications for personalized medicine.