B – Personalized medicine

Schork NJ. Personalized medicine: time for one-person trials. Nature 2015;520:609-611


Every day, millions of people are taking medications that will not help them. The top ten highest-grossing drugs in the United States help between 1 in 25 and 1 in 4 of the people who take them. Recognition that physicians need to take individual variability into account is driving huge interest in ‘precision’ medicine, that requires a different type of clinical trial focusing on individual, not average, responses to therapy. But  regulatory agencies, researchers and clinicians are rightfully wary of moving away from classical clinical trials, and pharmaceutical companies tend to focus on drugs that are likely to be used by thousands or millions of people.