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Expatriate Overseas Health Insurance News: Personalised medicine 'improves treatment'

Expatriate international health insurance customers may wish to check the personalised healthcare capabilities of the location they live in after professionals stated this can improve treatment.

Dr Malcolm Vanderburg, specialist in general and pharmaceutical medicine, noted elderly or black people respond to high blood pressure differently to a young white person and would therefore require a diuretic before taking a beta blocker.

Furthermore, several drugs have been shown to have a different affect across gender lines.

Personalised medicine takes this into consideration, asking those seeking healthcare of their age, illnesses and if they consume any other medicines before prescribing them treatment, he explained.

Also, "you don't give everybody one standard dose", the expert continued.

For problems such as depression, the sufferer would be asked whether they would prefer to be given drugs or therapeutic support.

With breast cancer, an individual would do "what they feel like", such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, surgery or they can "choose to do nothing", Dr Vanderburg explained.

Generally, personalised healthcare will require taking age, sex, lifestyle and race into account before embarking on any cure or palliative treatment, he stated.

Professor Anna Dominiczac, regius professor of medicine, vice-principal and head of College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow, said this is why she calls this form of healthcare "stratified medicine".

Rather than it involving a unique pill for every individual, it instead uses these biomarkers to ascertain the best remedy for certain ailments among larger demographics.

Currently, everyone suffering from high blood pressure is treated "with the same stuff", which "of course is not right", she declared.

However, ten to 20 per cent of the populace have this ailment and there will be general trends in what the best method of dealing with these problems is, the expert continued.

"This is why I think stratified medicine describes [personalised healthcare] best," Professor Dominiczac concluded.

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