George Van Antwerp: Specialty Drugs Rely on Personalization for Optimal Outcomes

The high cost of specialty drugs makes it important to use companion diagnostics and other tests to make sure the drug is going to the right patient, said George Van Antwerp, MBA, managing director, Deloitte Consulting.

The high cost of specialty drugs makes it important to use companion diagnostics and other tests to make sure the drug is going to the right patient, said George Van Antwerp, MBA, managing director, Deloitte Consulting.

Transcript

As specialty represents a larger and larger share of pharmaceuticals with more expensive therapies, why is increased personalization important?

So, as we think about the pipeline of drugs out there and the need to focus on precision or personalized medicine, you can look back, and there's been different studies that show how effective drugs are in people that use them. And so, in some cases people talk about the majority of drugs don't work in the patients that use them. And that may be an acceptable issue for a lower cost drug, as long as there's no clinical side effects.

But when we look at the cost of specialty drugs, and especially some of the cell and gene therapy drugs, which are really all about precision medicine, those costs mean they have to work. They have to be focused on and personalized to the individual. And so, I think if you think about companion diagnostics, which have been used, if you think about tests that help to pick the right type of drug within a particular class or things like biome tests that can be used to help determine the right care or food for a diabetic, all of this is important because as we increase costs, we need to really make sure that the drugs are having the planned effect within the body.