Precision medicines

The business report by Byrnes (2016) titled “Slow Progress to Better Medicine” the development and use of precision medicine and related issues. The author uses Carina, a baby born on July 25, 2014, with a lump on her jaw’s right side, as the case study. Precision medicine involving a medicine primarily designed to interfere with a protein resulting from the abnormal fusion of genes was applied to treat her, making her the first patient to use the medication. Precision medicine, an approach that that involves developing medicines that focus on individual differences in the genes of patients, health history, environment, and lifestyle was behind the development of the medicine (Byrnes, 2016). Unlike the traditional medical model that focuses on generic approaches and the development of drugs to treat as many people as possible, precision medicine focuses on individual differences. Several challenges could arise from precision medicine. For example, revenues may not be earned from such medication because only small groups are targeted (Byrnes, 2016). To recoup the initial investment, drug manufacturers may be required to charge higher per patient.

First is the precision medicine which is a development in medicine that seeks to come up with drugs that address individual gene differences, lifestyle, health history, and environment. The second is CRISPR, which technology for editing genomes and comprises of a bacterial Cas9 endonuclease protein and a sgRNA that contains a 20-bp sequence that is homologous to the target DNA (Cao, Wang, Le, & Vu, 2016). CRISPR/Cas9 is used to treat medical complications facilitated by genomic disorders (Byrnes, 2016). The course provides important background information about these concepts by defining and expounding on their application.

The article by Byrnes (2016) caught my attention because it examines an important development in the field of medicine that could contribute to better health and patient outcomes. The article provides a practical application of precision medicine to address complex health conditions. The author shows how precision medicine was used to a lump on Carina’s right-side jaw. The scientific knowledge covered in the article affects me directly because it inspires me to focus on the development of better medicines, such as precision medicine, to foster positive health outcomes. The knowledge covered in the article also shows me that in the event I develop unusual medical complications, precision medicine may be used to restore my health.

In my opinion, research on precision medicine should be funded through taxpayer monies and not the private sector. Research in precision is expensive, and although it may yield enough revenues immediately, it will lead to the development of better ways of treatment to foster good health. Taxpayer monies should be used to fund research in precision medicine to make sure that precision medicine will be made affordable to patients. When the private sector supports research in precision, where developed drugs only target smaller groups of patients, they will be required to charge higher amounts to recoup the initial investment. Charging higher prices for precision medicine may imply that only the upper will benefit from the development. Taxpayer monies should be used to fund research in precision medicine to help those in the middle and lower social classes benefit from the developments.


Byrnes, N. (2016, July 25). Slow Progress to Better Medicine. Retrieved October 11, 2018, from MIT Technology Review:

Cao, H. X., Wang, W., Le, H. T., & Vu, G. T. (2016). The Power of CRISPR-Cas9-Induced Genome Editing to Speed Up Plant Breeding. International Journal of Genomics, 1(1), 1-10.

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