Personalized Medicine Could Revolutionize the Future of Healthcare in BC

New Green Paper by PwC and The Personalized Medicine Initiative highlights how Personalized or Molecular Medicine can improve quality of patient care while benefiting BC's healthcare system, and the economy

VANCOUVER, June 8, 2015 /CNW/ - According to a new Green Paper co-authored by The Personalized Medicine Initiative and PwC Canada, the future of medicine will be data-driven and focused on creating Personalized Medicine for each patient based on their individual molecular profile. Personalized Medicine (also referred to as Precision Medicine or Molecular Medicine) would enable more precise diagnosis of diseases and guide therapeutic interventions, particularly in the treatment of cancer, infectious disease, heart disease, lung disease, and neurological disorders.

Released yesterday at the Personalized Medicine Summit in Vancouver, the Green Paper titled "Roadmap for Bringing Personalized Medicine to British Columbians" reveals how this new approach to medicine could benefit patients while potentially alleviating strain on BC's healthcare system with more targeted approaches to treatment.

"Personalized Medicine is on the brink of transforming medicine by making it tailored to, and effective for, each individual," says paper co-author Dr. Pieter Cullis, Director Life Sciences Institute, University of British Columbia. "Everyone has their own unique genomic blueprint and molecular makeup and this approach will help us to better match the therapy we prescribe to the disorder the individual has, which ultimately will improve outcomes and the efficiency of our healthcare system."

With a population that is aging faster than most of Canada, BC seniors will compromise 25% of the BC population by 2040 and will consume more than 50% of healthcare costs by 2022. Personalized medicine is potentially one way of both improving patient care with more effective treatment leading to controlling costs, which will become increasingly important as patient volume continues to increase.

BC is a leader in the discovery of genomic predictors that indicate which patients will respond best to a specific drug, and which will have an adverse reaction. Personalized Medicine could potentially improve patient outcomes through earlier disease detection, more effective and safer therapy, more precise predictions of disease risk, and an overall shift in treatment to more patient-centered preventive care.

"This partnership has really shown the potential for Personalized Medicine to revolutionize healthcare in BC. Success depends on coordinated support from the public sector, private sector, academic centres, and not-for-profit agencies," said paper co-author Joyce Drohan, PwC BC Healthcare Leader. "We will need to act collectively to ensure that BC is at the forefront of Molecular Medicine, so we deliver the best possible healthcare to our citizens."

In order to optimize a shift towards Personalized Medicine all patient-related data needs to be accessible through electronic medical records. The benefits of population-wide patient data deposited into large, secure databases that can be collectively analyzed, will create opportunities to predictively model genetic information to improve the future of health and care. This analysis will be used, in conjunction with traditional clinical information, to establish correlations between individual molecular profiles and states of health and disease. This is where the true benefits and precision of care for individuals will be realized in the future.

The Green Paper puts forth recommendations for the effective implementation of Personalized Medicine in BC and is intended to stimulate discussion, with further input expected from stakeholder groups. It was authored by the Personalized Medicine Initiative (http://personalizedmedicineinitiative.ca/) in partnership with PwC and was reviewed by the Life Sciences Institute at the University of BC (http://lsi.ubc.ca/), Genome BC (www.genomebc.ca/), Life Sciences BC (www.lifesciencesbc.ca/),  The Centre for Drug Research and Development (www.cdrd.ca/) and the PROOF Centre of Excellence (www.proofcentre.ca/).  

The full report including case studies can be accessed at  www.pwc.com/ca/personalized-medicine

FollowPwC on Twitter at @PwC_Canada_LLP and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pwccanada.

About PwC Canada
PwC Canada helps organizations and individuals create the value they're looking for. More than 5,800 partners and staff in offices across the country are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax, consulting and deals services. PwC Canada is a member of the PwC network of firms with more than 195,000 people in 157 countries. Find out more by visiting us at www.pwc.com/ca.

© 2015 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership. All rights reserved.

PwC refers to the Canadian member firm, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

Personalized Medicine Initiative
The Personalized Medicine Initiative (PMI) is an umbrella organization of personalized medicine stakeholders and resources in British Columbia that has the mission of introducing technologies enabling personalized (molecularly-based) medicine into the front lines of healthcare. With this as a primary objective, the intent of the PMI is delivering improved healthcare for BC and Canadian residents and a more efficient, cost-effective medical system. Projects are identified from advances made in personalized medicine worldwide as well as personalized care initiatives locally. In addition the PMI serves as an educational and information resource for residents and medical practitioners in regard to personalized medicine (particularly as applied to wellness programs). The PMI is led by a Board of Directors that includes Pieter Cullis (Chair), David Huntsman, Bruce McManus, Martin Dawes and James Russell and Rob Fraser, COO with input from a broadly-based Advisory Committee that represents a cross-section of interests relating to healthcare, science, technology, ethics, and health policy. www.personalizedmedicineinitiative.ca

SOURCE PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)

For further information: Jordana Whetter, T: 604 806 7316, Email: jordana.e.whetter@ca.pwc.com

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