Last week, hundreds of pathologists gathered in Chicago for the annual meeting of the College of American Pathologists (CAP 2014). From the exhibition floor, our QIAGEN colleagues had the privilege of speaking to pathologists from around the world about the company’s complete offerings of tests, instrumentation and technologies for personalized healthcare.
Presentations on new biomarker research and molecular-based interventions were many and reconfirmed the accelerating pace at which genomic data is moving towards the clinic and the community’s excitement about the medical and economic benefits of targeted therapies.
Interestingly, the meeting’s kick-off panel was a discussion on covering the costs of high-value molecular-based medicine. As panelist Dr. Debra Leonard, a pathologist from the University of Vermont, agreed, genomic medicine is already showing evidence of improving individual outcomes, as well as population health outcomes, especially for cancer patients. These early successes have led to skyrocketing growth in the molecular medicine market, which according to CAP, represents 2 percent —an estimated $30 billion annually—of total health care spending in the U.S. But the elephant in the room remains who will pay for these high-value services and what is their true value to patients and society.
“What exactly are we getting with these tests?” posed Dr. Berger to the panel. “Is this just a cost driver or can it be a cost saver?”
At QIAGEN Silicon Valley we are working diligently on intuitive data interpretation software that helps researchers decrease the time and costs associated with interpreting genomic data. We are also heavily invested in creating the world’s most comprehensive resource of biological information. Simplifying the process of translational research not only leads to the development of new medicines and diagnostic tests, but has the potential to bring down the overall costs associated with integrating genomic data into routine healthcare.
Pathologists are critical members of the healthcare community and bring a scientist’s understanding of what laboratory evidence suggests and a specialty physician’s knowledge of medicine to help patients and their care givers make correct diagnoses. We look forward to continuing our close collaboration with the pathology community and helping them through the development of data interpretation tools that enable them to provide vital molecular-based insights.