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Forum for Health Economics & Policy

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Economic Perspectives on Personalized Health Care and Prevention

Kathryn A. Phillips
  • Corresponding author
  • University of California, San Francisco – Department of Clinical Pharmacy, 3333 California Street Box 0613, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Julie Ann Sakowski
  • Associate Professor of Health Economics, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, UCSF and Executive Director, UCSF Center for Translational and Policy Research on Personalized Medicine
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Su-Ying Liang
  • Research Professor of Health Economics, UCSF Center for Translational and Policy Research on Personalized Medicine and Department of Clinical Pharmacy UCSF; and Research Economist, Department of Health Policy Research, Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ninez A. Ponce
  • Associate Professor, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Department of Health Policy and Management
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2013-07-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/fhep-2013-0010


The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of economic evaluation of personalized medicine, focusing particularly on the use of cost-effectiveness analysis and other methods of valuation. We draw on insights from the literature and our work at the University of California, San Francisco Center for Translational and Policy Research on Personalized Medicine (TRANSPERS). We begin with a discussion of why personalized medicine is of interest and challenges to adoption, whether personalized medicine is different enough to require different evaluation approaches, and what is known about the economics of personalized medicine. We then discuss insights from TRANSPERS research and six areas for future research:

  1. Develop and Apply Multiple Methods of Assessing Value

  2. Identify Key Factors in Determining the Value of Personalized Medicine

  3. Use Real World Perspectives in Economic Analyses

  4. Consider Patient Heterogeneity and Diverse Populations in Economic Analyses

  5. Prepare for Upcoming Challenges of Assessing Value of Emerging Technologies

  6. Incorporate Behavioral Economics into Value Assessments

Keywords: costs and cost-effectiveness analysis; economics; health policy; individualized medicine; personalized medicine; preferences measurement


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About the article

Corresponding author: Kathryn A. Phillips, University of California, San Francisco – Department of Clinical Pharmacy, 3333 California Street Box 0613, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA, Phone: +(415) 502-8271, e-mail:

Published Online: 2013-07-05

Published in Print: 2013-09-01

Citation Information: Forum for Health Economics and Policy, Volume 16, Issue 2, Pages S23–S52, ISSN (Online) 1558-9544, ISSN (Print) 2194-6191, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/fhep-2013-0010.

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