What is Personalised Medicine?
Envision a future where crafting customized and personalized medicine for intricate ailments like cancer is as effortless as finding a compatible blood type.
It is possible that by simply integrating and examining the genetic make-up of an individual you can find the get the instructions to effectively treat the diseases. What can be done to make the complicated ways of taking medicines easier? How to find the correct doses and drugs for each individual?
Personalized medicine: the future of healthcare is the answer.
Personalized medicine is known as precision medicine. It prioritizes its focus more on treating the patient than solely targeting the disease. Personalized medicine is the future of healthcare. It acknowledges the fact that one treatment never fits all is not an adequate approach.
So, it works to provide every patient with a chance to receive the most effective and suitable treatment. For that, it focuses on crafting medications tailored for the individual and their genetic composition. By adopting this approach there would be a plummet in the occurrence of side effects and this will further help in enhancing the efficiency.
Why Do We Need Personalised Medicine?
1. One Treatment Does Not Fit All
When we buy a box of medicine within the pill there is the same dosage for everyone. The idea with this first-generation medicine was that everybody would react the same way but we don’t possess the same DNA.
We know that different genes react to medicines in certain different ways. Some drugs are completely ineffective and sometimes deadly because of minute details of how our bodies function.
Some pills are taken orally which leads to about 60-70% loss of active principle. This is because when the pills are taken they have to go through the long digestive tract to reach the target site. This leads to the need to cram more active principles into the pill than needed.
As a solution in the coming future, we could see what is called a long injecting medicine. The active principle being injected right under the skin creates a lump. This then disintegrates and releases the medicine over a long period.
This kind of injection helps to overcome another key weakness of medication which is people not following the prescription.
It could also help to reduce side effects as we can avoid the higher concentration of active principle in the pills to the exact amount needed. This also does not pass through the gastrointestinal system which reduces adverse drug reactions.
The dosage of medication needed cannot be predicted with certainty, hence leaving us with extra pills. These extra pills and expired pills are thrown away causing pharmaceutical pollution. These pills will get dumped in garbage landfills and water bodies.
The medicines and the chemical may mix up with the land and soil and cause harmful chemical reactions in it. This can also affect the plants and wildlife growing in the area. The polluted waterbodies will cause harmful toxins to enter the systems of aquatic life.
How Can Personalised Medicine Improve Healthcare?
An individual’s susceptibility to any disease can be assessed by examining and evaluating the information extracted from our unique genetic makeup along with other clinical and diagnostic data. It will make the detection of a developing disease even before the symptoms are experienced.
This will help to provide the most suitable interventions for the cure that can be again personalized. It can suggest the most effective way of treatment whether it is based on medication or simply lifestyle modifications which will help to enhance the wellbeing and health of the individual.
The four P’s of Personalised Medication.
1. Prediction and Prevention of Disease-
High-risk individuals can be identified well before the onset of symptoms by utilizing advanced genomic technologies along with other clinical and diagnostic details. This allows early mediation and targeted precautionary measures to palliate the impact of potential diseases.
Detecting the disease earlier gives a chance to provide mild interventions like making lifestyle modifications or dietary changes rather than taking high-dosage medications. Early intervention can help lower the intensity of the disease and also make the patient aware of what they might experience shortly and helps them prepare to stop it.
2. More Precise Diagnoses-
At present a diagnosis relies on the analysis of symptoms and examination of tests However, if two different patients are experiencing the same symptoms it is not at all necessary that those symptoms have risen from the same underlying cause.
The root cause of the symptoms of each individual can be identified by studying their complex and unique molecular and cellular function and structure. Knowledge of their genetic code alongside other clinical and diagnostic data will help to do so.
Personalized medicine can be paired with new and advanced technologies that provide real-time results. This can provide a more precise diagnosis that can be used at the point of care.
Personalised medicine will help get a piece of deep structured information about the patient and how the patient’s body reacts to different things. By this, the healthcare professionals and patients together can curate a specific dose that is effective for the individual.
3. Targeted and Personalised Interventions
With personalized treatment, you can know what is the best effective treatment for the individual the first way around. It acknowledges the fact that a trial-error method of finding the perfect dose and drug for an individual is not at all effective.
Due to differences in the catabolic and anabolic activities in the bodies of different individuals, the response to pharmaceutical interventions is not effective for a significant amount of people.
A pharmacogenomics profile is a report on the individual. This report contains key information about the genetic makeup of the patient, which will tell us how does will the individual react to different treatments. This can help to curate the perfect drugs and dosage that gives the best results for the patient.
This marks the beginning of the acknowledgment that the trial-and-error method is not practical. To find the cure for the individual all we have to do is to create a pharmacogenomics profile and a regular diagnostic test to confirm. Targeted and personalized interventions.
The possibility of adverse drug reactions can be predicted by examining the genetic composition of an individual. This provides the chance to detect the disease in an earlier stage for early interventions which helps to reduce the burden of high risks related to the treatment for the disease.
4. A More Participatory Role for Patients
The genomic characteristics along with other lifestyle choices and environmental factors can be discussed with the patient and the health professional along with the pharmacist.
The collection of such personal data will help to create the therapeutical treatment needed for the patient that will enhance the chances of recovery. It helps to make early interventions before the disease is fully developed. Patients can practice preventative measures that are carefully curated for them by health professionals.
What Can We Expect for the Future?
The goal of this new generation of medication is to try to reduce the active principle to a minimum for environmental and health reasons. Pharmacogenomics is the branch of genetics that explores the individuals’ genomic characteristics that influence anticipated reactions to pharmaceutical drugs.
With this scientists can make a genetic test that can predict how an individual’s body is going to react and whether or not there will be side effects.
This can be achieved by making huge databases connecting countless doctors, researchers, and data specialists worldwide.
Then compare every bit of information about a particular disease and all of the treatments received by almost every patient that had the same condition. understand how they lived, how they got treated, what studies they were in, and if and why they died or lived on.
All this information can be used by the pharmacist to create drugs and correct doses that are. The most effective for the patient. This increases the chance of recovery to high percentages.
The problem today is we are still taking medicine out of a box, and not following a prescription is also one of the issues with this system. These technologies have evolved to pill dispensers with reminder apps for medication.
All these things are possible today but we are still taking multiple pills. How can it be made simpler? A solution is to make better use of polypills.
A polypill refers to the consolidation of multiple medications into a single pill. This concept is already commonly used around the world for flu and cold remedies. But these polypills are optimized for the individual.
What if we could personalize these polypills? Pills can be built for you to adapt your genetic framework. We have now entered an era where technology allows the manufacturing of things through 3-D printing. We have seen cases where personalized hearing aids and braces are being printed.
3-D printed polypills
And in the same way, we could also see 3-D printed personalized polypills. Instead of taking multiple medications, we could get all of them integrated into one. There are prototypes out there that work on this principle.
It takes a small amount of each medication with the composition and concentration needed for the individual. Then prints the medicine with the carefully curated doses and drugs for the patient.
The Near Future
We can say that by 2026 or so new taxonomy of medicines based on underlying causes and personal responses will have integrated clinical services. Taking a whole-body approach; tailored, optimized and more effective therapies for a better outcome can be expected.
We can reimagine the future of medicines in new ways moving from polypharmacy, one treatment fits all, low adherence, complications, and adverse drug reactions.
To an era of personalized, precise, on-demand medications. This will individualize our health and medicine around the planet.