The market for personalised medicine in the USA is already worth $232 billion, and it is projected to grow 11% annually, according to a new report.

The analysis, published by PricewaterhouseCoopers, claims that personalised medicine is creating “a booming market, but it is a disruptive innovation” that will create both opportunities and challenges for traditional healthcare and emerging market participants. The consultant believes that the market PricewaterhouseCoopers projects that the market for a more personalised approach to health and wellness will grow to as much as $452 billion by 2015.

The report claims that the core diagnostic and therapeutic segment of the market – comprised primarily of pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics companies – is estimated at $24 billion and is expected to grow by 10%, reaching $42 billion by 2015. The portion of the market that includes telemedicine, health information technology and disease management services offered by traditional health and technology companies is worth $4-$12 billion and could grow tenfold to over $100 billion by 2015 “if telemedicine takes off”.

PwC adds that the related nutrition and wellness market is estimated at $196 billion and is projected to grow 7% to over $290 billion by 2015. The market is being driven by advances in genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, completion of the human genome map and the development of "targeted" diagnostics and therapeutics.

The analysis says that primary care providers “may have to build new service lines around prevention and wellness in order to replace revenues lost from traditional medical procedures”. When they do, “they can expect to face low-cost competition from non-healthcare companies skilled in consumer marketing and consumers armed with knowledge of their options”.

PwC adds that doctors will need training in genomics and proteomics “in order to stay relevant in the area of personalised medicine”. It goes on to say that how payers approach the area “will be critical, as their reimbursement schemes will influence the business models of pharma and diagnostics companies as well as providers who depend on third-party payment”. The report notes that insurance premiums today are based on statistics that apply to large, predictable populations and by contrast, “personalised medicine targets small populations which are far less stable and predictable from an actuarial standpoint”.

David Levy, global healthcare leader at PwC, said that medical science and technological advancement “have converged with the growing emphasis on health, wellness and prevention sweeping the country to push personalised medicine to a tipping point”. He added that “we are now seeing a blurring of the lines between traditional healthcare offerings and consumer-oriented wellness products and services”.

Dr Levy concludes by saying that “the market potential is enormous for any company that learns to leverage the science, target individuals and develop products and services that promote health."