Can we afford personalised medicine in future European health systems?

Research output: Chapter in Book or Conference ProceedingsConference Proceedings with Oral Presentationpeer-review


In an era of persistent and increasing pressure on health care budgets across Europe due to demographic change, unbalanced national age pyramids, increased demand of care and rising health care costs, personalised medicine is the hope of many patients, health experts, and policy makers to find and implement more efficient and effective ways to cure diseases.
Personalised medicine aims to optimally match patient and treatment by assessing the characteristics of patients in which treatments lead to health improvements.
Personalised medicine (PM) is promising as it is expected to increase efficiency through better targeting of treatments. However, while the development of personalised medicine
treatments is generally an academic endeavor, its commercialization is usually profitoriented, reducing the efficiency potential of technologies through high pricing. Commercially marketed products such as biomarkers are frequently priced at the margin, following companies’ analyses of ‘what the market can bear’, rather than based on the health benefit to patients. Therefore, there is a need for alternative approaches considering equity, affordability, payment and reimbursement models that support innovation and link financial reward to health outcomes.
Methodology and empirical base
In our paper we will present some preliminary approaches of the EU funded project HEcoPerMed (“Healthcare- and pharma-economics in support of the International Consortium for Personalised Medicine – ICPerMed"), including case studies and scenarios of
personalised medicine making a difference in future health models in Europe. The project
aims at combining quantitative as well as qualitative approaches.
While health-economic analysis and modelling asses the health-economic and quantifiable
implications of such PM solutions, a scenario-based qualitative approach relying on a trend
monitoring creates four alternative health-system related settings in which PM solutions for the future are assessed. Construction of our scenarios demonstrates future options for
financing and reimbursement models for PM in Member States and the EU and provides incentives for the discussion of alternative health care models.
Our research so far points a pressure on the current health system for change in terms of funding and reimbursement models. Current European health systems will not be able to pay for PM in diagnostics and treatments as these solutions will make overall health provisions not cheaper but more expensive. Though it is very likely that major features of the current European social models of care will persist in the future, new features are very likely to be added, some present ones will face the need for change and reform due to the introduction of more personalised health solutions as regular treatments and diagnostics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts, STS Conference Graz 2023; Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies
Subtitle of host publication21st STS Conference Graz 2023
EditorsGünter Getzinger, Michaela Jahrbacher, Franziska Häller
Place of PublicationGraz
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-85125-955-1
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2023
Event21st STS Conference Graz 2023: Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies - TU Graz, Graz, Austria
Duration: 8 May 202310 May 2023


Conference21st STS Conference Graz 2023

Research Field

  • Societal Futures


  • Public Health
  • Personalised Medicine
  • Scenarios
  • European Union
  • Cancer
  • diabetes


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