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Time to Embrace Companion Diagnostics to Accelerate Precision Medicine

Conventional pharmacotherapy is characterized by a trial-and-error approach in which medications are tried sequentially.1 The success rates from treatment with this approach are relatively low, and efficacy and safety outcomes can vary substantially between patients.1 The cause for this variability lies in the variability of the disease itself as well as in differences in the physiological makeup of the patients. Moreover, the trial-and-error approach can lead to serious health consequences for patients as well as to adverse economic effects on the healthcare system and society overall.

The most important shortcoming of the trial-and-error approach to pharmacotherapy is that patients with progressive diseases like cancer and rheumatoid arthritis may not receive the appropriate treatment in time.

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