Viewpoint: It’s time for a debate on precision medicine and its failed promises

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Image credit: Foundation Medicine

Although some niche applications have been found for precision medicine, and gene therapy is now becoming a reality for a few rare diseases, the effects on public health are minuscule while the costs are astronomical.

Our Viewpoint article is part of an ongoing — and growing — movement that seeks to articulate scientifically warranted dissent to a culture of thought that, ever since the discovery of DNA, has come to pervade biomedical research: the dominance of gene-centric paradigms.

This emphasis on reducing biomedical explanations to genetic pathways, known as genetic reductionism, comes at the expense of all other molecular, cellular, physiological, and epidemiological approaches.

We are calling for an open debate, in all centers of biomedical research, about the best way forward, and about whether precision medicine is really the most promising avenue for progress. It is time for precision medicine supporters to engage in debate — to go beyond asserting the truism that all individuals are unique, and that the increase in the volume of health data and measurements combined with the decline in the cost of studying the genome constitute sufficient argument for the adoption of the precision medicine program.

Related article:  Gene therapy challenge: How much should it cost and how do we pay for it?

Read full, original post: Precision medicine’s rosy predictions haven’t come true. We need fewer promises and more debate

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