The clinical benefits, ethics, and economics of stratified medicine and companion diagnostics

Eric NormanArticles

Drug Discovery Today, December 1, 2015
Mark R. Trusheim and Ernst R. Berndt

The stratified medicine companion diagnostic (CDx) cut-off decision integrates scientific, clinical, ethical, and commercial considerations, and determines its value to developers, providers, payers, and patients. Competition already sharpens these issues in oncology, and might soon do the same for emerging stratified medicines in autoimmune, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, respiratory, and other conditions. Of 53 oncology targets with a launched therapeutic, 44 have competing therapeutics. Only 12 of 141 Phase III candidates addressing new targets face no competition. CDx choices might alter competitive positions and reimbursement. Under current diagnostic incentives, payers see novel stratified medicines that improve public health and increase costs, but do not observe companion diagnostics for legacy treatments that would reduce costs. It would be in the interests of payers to rediscover their heritage of direct investment in diagnostic development.

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