Precision Medicine Pros and Cons


A report was released last week by the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) arguing that precision medicine has the potential to transform Australia’s health care system.

Precision medicine combines knowledge of a person’s unique genetic makeup, protein levels, and their environment to allow accurate disease prevention and treatment tailored to individual needs.

To date, the main focus has been in well-supported clinical areas, such as cancer, and ‘rare’ single-gene disorders which are a cause of intellectual and physical disability in children.

However, The future of precision medicine in Australia report says that opportunities to improve health outcomes for complex disorders, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease are equally exciting.

Media debate has followed concerning the potential harms of screening and diagnosing the genes of healthy people, and the risk of widespread overdiagnosis.

The project report The Future of Precision Medicine in Australia, was launched by the Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP at Eureka 89 in Melbourne on 31 January 2018.


Precision medicine runs risk of overdiagnosis

The Conversation - Precision Medicine Series