Given its ability to detect a disease in its very early stage, consequently improving clinical outcomes, pharmacogenomic testing is slowly gaining greater acceptance across Europe. Furthermore, pharmacogenomic testing decreases the use of expensive therapies and invasive procedures, in addition to reducing bed occupancy and burden on the healthcare system. In Europe, age-related diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, stroke and heart failure represent the highest cost burden to the healthcare systems.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, European Personalised Medicine and Pharmacogenomics Market, finds that revenues in this market totalled $57.1 million in 2005, and are likely to reach $109.4 million in 2012.
Advertisement"Considering the imminent benefits of pharmacogenomic testing, governments across Europe have initiated campaigns to encourage the population to be screened on certain types of diseases such as cancer, which has significantly helped better patient management," notes Frost & Sullivan Program Leader Dr. Fiona Rahman. "In the case of cancer, patients have more than 90 per cent five year survival rate if their condition is detected in the primary stages, and pharmacogenomic testing remains the foremost weapon in the fight against cancer."
Furthermore, medical communities are increasingly stressing on preventive medicine as the most efficacious and cost-effective approach to improving the quality of life. In addition, researchers have realised that the most effective way to combat diseases such as diabetes or cancer is to predict susceptibility and begin preventive treatment before the onset of the disease. Designing preventive screening programmes with the doctor will allow people to be in charge of their own health. Therefore, pharmacogenomics testing is seen to have tremendous market value.
Notwithstanding its benefits, inherent problems regarding time and cost associated with the development of diagnostic tests remain major restraints for market growth. Lack of education and awareness among the medical community is an additional impediment, as physicians unfamiliar with this novel approach are more likely to abide by traditional methods. Eventually, patient demand could have the final say on the acceptance or rejection of pharmacogenomics.
"With clinical applicability being the prime competitive factor in the market, it will be crucial for pharmacogenomics developers to prove the clinical applicability of their tests to clinicians," says Dr. Rahman. "Clinical applicability includes the price of the test, clinical validity, specificity, sensitivity and prevalence of adverse conditions the test is seeking to prevent."
Going forward, companies will have to clearly demonstrate the clinical practicality of their tests to the medical community. Apart from oncologists, most physicians have misconceptions about the clinical practicality and do not understand the benefits of pharmacogenomic tests. Hence, they should be made aware of the long-term value proposition of pharmacogenomic testing in terms of lowering the overall healthcare cost and increasing patient well being.
European Personalised Medicine and Pharmacogenomics Market is part of the Drug Discovery Technologies Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research on the following: European Molecular Diagnostics Markets, European IVD Market and European Cancer Diagnostic Market, European Primary Care Diagnostics. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.
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