|[August 22, 2013]
Only 27% of US Consumers Have Heard of "Personalized Medicine"
NEW YORK --(Business Wire)--
If personalized treatments are poised to change the face of medicine,
that may be news to almost three-quarters of US consumers. In a 2013
study by GfK Bridgehead, a division of GfK's Health team, only 27% of
respondents said they had heard of the term personalized medicine,
and just 8% considered themselves "very knowledgeable" about the concept.
More than half (53%) said that personalized medicine refers to
medical care somehow geared to "individual needs," while others thought
the phrase had something to do with doctor/patient collaboration. Just
4% associated personalized medicine with genetics, which is generally
considered a key element.
To download a free report about this study, click
After being given more information about personalized medicine,
consumers varied widely in their receptivity, as well as their openness
to genetic testing. Those who perceived their health as poor were less
likely to embrace personalized medicine; but people diagnosed with
life-threatening cancer were more open to genetic testing, perhaps
because of their own experiences with the imperfections of the current
The study showed that respondents who are more interested in genetic
testing are likely to have
a work-sponsored health plan
higher incomes and education levels
more health problems
less concern about side effects when evaluating proven treatments
a positive view of personalized medicine
Over half (55%) of those with a work-sponsored health plan said they
were interested in having a genetic test - a figure that rose to 65%
when they learned that a hypothetical test cost $500. With more and more
individuals responsible for paying for portions of their care, patients'
receptivity to costs for different care approaches is an important area
In addition, respondents who had been diagnosed with life-threatening
cancer were twice as likely to express a significant interest in genetic
testing, compared to the general population (67% versus 32%).
"Without strong consumer awareness, personalized medicine will have a
hard time winning acceptance and delivering its promised benefits," said
Susan Garfield, Senior Vice President of GfK Bridgehead. "Our study
points to specific communities that are more likely to be unaware or
cautious when it comes to personalized therapies and genetic testing. As
such, payers, clinicians, and other stakeholders need to work together
to educate all patients about the potential benefits of this new
approach to care. Educational efforts need to take into account the
different perspectives patients bring into that conversation; not all
will immediately see the benefits. Such initiatives need to meet people
where they are."
The study also showed that 87% of respondents expected personalized
medicine would increase healthcare costs either "significantly" or
"moderately" over the next five years. Only a very small group of people
said they were generally interested in predicting what diseases they
might get in the future; but, when asked about specific life-threatening
illnesses - such as Alzheimer's disease and diabetes - 70% to 80% said
they would want to know if they were at risk.
GfK is one of the world's largest research companies, with more than
12,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people
live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly
innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest
methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most
important people in the world: their customers. In 2012, GfK's sales
amounted to EUR 1.51 billion.
To find out more, visit www.gfk.com/us
or follow GfK on Twitter (News - Alert): https://twitter.com/GfK_en.
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