Report reveals uneven lag in Latin America towards personalized medicine

Mexico, Oct 15 (EFE) .- Personalized medicine is still far from being accessible to all Latin Americans, although there is an uneven lag between its different countries, revealed this Thursday a report from the Intelligence Unit of The Economist (The EIU) supported by Roche Latin America.

The report classified the countries in three levels according to their degree of progress, led by Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and Uruguay at level 1, followed by Chile and Mexico at level 2, and finally Ecuador and Peru at level 3 .

“Latin America faces several challenges to be able to move from traditional medicine to personalized medicine and for that change to really take place it is necessary for the entire health ecosystem to evolve,” said Marianne Chacón, director of the Digital Health Team at Roche USA.

Chacón participated in the presentation of the report “Personalized medicine in Latin America: Universalizing the promise of innovation”, during Roche Press Day, a virtual event that brings together specialists from across the region.

Personalized medicine does not focus on treating diseases, but people, said Alan Lovell, author of the report and Senior Associate for Health Policy and Clinical Evidence at The EIU.

This means, he detailed, that medical advances, technology, genomics and data science come together in a new approach to accompany each patient on their own journey, from prevention to treatment, and identify a unique care.

“Latin American countries have taken some initial steps on the path to personalized medicine, but much remains to be done to make sure these innovations are available to the general population,” he said.

While Level 1 countries are “ready to decide” if they want to create a comprehensive approach to move towards this form of medicine, Level 2 countries are still “strengthening the foundations” and the latter are just “beginning the journey,” he stated. .

“The situation in Latin America, the situation in which we find ourselves is complicated in the system, but our health ecosystem is very varied, it is very heterogeneous,” observed Raquel Panigua, vice president of the Dame tu Mano Association, which supports women with cancer in Uruguay.

Among the challenges facing the region for personalized health care, the report highlighted the lack of political will, the lack of a holistic vision, inefficient regulations and a vision that perceives health as an expense rather than an investment.

To these challenges, we must add that Latin America is the region most affected by the covid-19 pandemic, with more than 10.2 million cases and 374,000 deaths out of a total of 38.4 million infections and almost 1.1 million of deaths worldwide.

“This put a sharp change in the priorities of the world in general and of our region in particular and we are still studying the possible collateral damage,” lamented Federico Augustovski, director of Health Technology Assessment at the Institute for Clinical and Health Effectiveness (Iecs) at the University of Buenos Aires.

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