Although there is no universally accepted definition, the Horizon 2020 Advisory Group has defined PM as “a medical model using characterization of individuals’ phenotypes and genotypes (e.g. molecular profiling, medical imaging, lifestyle data) for tailoring the right therapeutic strategy for the right person at the right time, and/or to determine the predisposition to disease and/or to deliver timely and targeted prevention“. This definition was also used by European Union (EU) Health Ministers in their Council conclusions on PM for patients, published in December 2015 . The medical approach that PM encompasses, based mainly, but not only, on the use of genetic-genomic data from patients and population for medical use, is also referred to as “precision medicine”, “stratified medicine”, “individualized medicine”, “genomic medicine”, “pharmacogenomics” and “P4 medicine” (for personalized, predictive, preventive, and participatory) (Nimmesgern, E., et al 2017).
Personalised medicine addresses the challenges of
- common medicines not being effective in treating large numbers of patients
- rising healthcare costs due to more prevalent chronic diseases and an ageing population
It does this through tailor-made prevention and treatment strategies for individuals or groups so patients receive the specific therapies that work best for them, and no money is wasted on trial and error treatments.
For the basic concepts underlying Personalised Medicine and its potential impact, in the context of EU-Africa collaboration, please have a look at the following infographic.
For a better understanding of what Personalised medicine is for the EC and ICPerMed Family, please refer to the following document.
 European Commission (2015). What personalised medicine means. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/research-area/health-research-and-innovation/personalised-medicine_en.