We have presumed that in the future it might be possible to make medicines by matching them to people’s genetic code i.e. DNA, reports say. The British Pharmacological Society and the Royal College of Physicians say a genetic test can predict how well drugs work in your body.
There is a high possibility that the tests might be available on NHS next year. Read more to find out about the potential of these DNA-based medicines.
The Current Health of People
Prof Mark Caulfield, the president-elect of the British Pharmacological Society, said “99.5% of us have at least one change in our genome that, if we come across the wrong medicine, it will either not work or it will actually cause harm.”
- More than five million people in the UK get no pain relief from codeine. Their genetic code does not contain the instructions for making the enzyme that breaks codeine down into morphine and without it, the drug’s a dud.
- The genetic code of one in 500 people puts them at higher risk of losing their hearing if they take the antibiotic gentamicin
PHARMACOGENOMICS: It is a crucial example of the field of precision medicine, whose target is to attune medical treatment to each person or to a group of people. Pharmacogenomics looks at how your DNA acts on the way you respond to drugs. It is already used in a lot of medicines. Your genetic code or DNA is an instruction manual for how your body operates. The field of matching drugs to your DNA is known as pharmacogenomics.
The genetic scanning of DNA is done through a sample of saliva or blood and it would cost about £100. The result that scientists are looking for is to determine health issues and to make medicines through genetic scrutiny at the birth of newborns, or as part of a routine check-up in your 50s.
He added that as we age and are stipulated more and more drugs, there’s a 70% chance that by the age of 70 you will be on at least one drug that is influenced by your genetic make-up.
Lord David Prior, the chairman of NHS England, said: “This will revolutionize medicine. It is the future” and “it can now help us to deliver a new, modern personalized healthcare system fit for 2022”.
What Are The Future of Medicines?
For many years, biology and disease appeared ‘complex’ to deal with on a large and wide level: with millions of genome variants, tens of thousands of disease-associated genes, thousands of cell types, and an almost inconceivable number of ways they can amalgamate, we had to imprecise a good initial point to start with—choose one target, guess the cell, disentangle the analysis.
There has been a lot of progress in the medical diagnosis and treatments yet when we look at this change in an overall way, it hasn’t structurally progressed that much. At present, if a sick person needs treatment, he firsts need to contact a medical professional, get various tests done, scans done, and wait to get the results back. This process can be very long and tiring.
Video Credit: Garvan Institute of Medical Research
“Healthcare is not an expense. It’s an investment. And if you think for one moment healthcare is not an investment, look at what’s happened to economies around the world when we’ve been unable to respond quickly to a pandemic due to a lack of actionable information. It feels like we can move forward with some guarded optimism,” HIMSS CEO Hal Wolf said.
“Digital public health is clearly what matters these days. And the future is digital,” said Bandar Al Knawy, CEO of India’s Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs. “Hopefully, we can have a real-time approach to monitoring and surveillance to what leads to infectious diseases.”
Privacy was always a luxury in the past – only the rich enjoyed it. Then it spread to a large fraction of the population in the West.
Now it is receding again, in a way that mirrors the rise in inequality and the inevitable fall in civil liberties, said Marcel Fafchamps, professor of economics and senior fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University.