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Predictive medicine: the beginnings of a concept with stakes (Policy Brief 289 - October 2012)

Predictive medicine: the beginnings of a concept with stakes (Policy Brief 289 - October 2012)



Predictive medicine aims to determine in each sensitivities to drugs and biological predispositions to certain diseases in order to delay or avoid in the occurrence. This concept , set out for the first time in the early 1970s by Nobel Prize in Medicine Jean Dausset, has already found some real opportunities . Thus, in France, the High Authority of Health recommends to conduct a genetic test before taking abacavir, an anti-HIV, to identify people with a form of a gene predisposing to serious side effects when taking this medicine.

  • Predictive medicine: the beginnings of a concept-stakes

Canada, using a simple saliva sample, an individual can now know if a higher risk of developing macular degeneration related to age (AMD) compared to the general population. In bringing this information to the attention of his doctor, he may be encouraged to modify their lifestyle and benefit from increased ophthalmologic monitoring.

Predictive medicine is based mainly on genetic analysis, the progress in genome sequencing has led to expect a multiplication of its clinical applications. To date, however, they remain extremely limited and much remains to be done before predictive medicine will lead to supported prevention and treatment more personalized. could even argue that this quest is illusory and that this type of medicine will become never a reality. And they suggest strengthening foremost policies to act on environmental and social determinants of health, which is known its importance.

However, if the knowledge was in progress , predictive medicine could affect societal health and such that need to be anticipated in order to establish a framework to reap the benefits while minimizing the risks . On the one hand, medical applications could be expected to develop in order to provide more efficient preventive strategies for appropriate risk profiles. On the other hand, it would ensure a strict control to ensure the preservation of the principle of solidarity underlying insurance, but also the non-selection of the progeny and access all Insurance and bank loans.


  • Predictive medicine today: a concept than a reality
  • Predictive medicine become a reality, what could be its potential and implications?
  • Authors: Mathilde reynaudi and Sarah Sauneron, Social Issues Department.

Keywords: genetic testing, risk, susceptibility, prevention, eugenics insurance system.


Centre d’analyse stratégique