In terms of its product portfolio and technology base, Roche combines strengths in diagnostics and therapeutics to a degree unrivalled by any other company.
We have begun to use our unique position by offering integrated healthcare solutions in selected indications.
Medically, the patient benefits, and economically, there are advantages for the healthcare sector as a whole.
Imagine the following scenario: A doctor caring for a patient with HIV arranges for genetic analysis of the virus to determine which variant has infected her patient; she can then decide which drug combination is most likely to benefit the patient.
During treatment the doctor uses PCR tests to monitor virus levels in the patient’s blood; the results tell her how the patient is responding, and enable her to modify the treatment regimen immediately, if necessary.
This is not just wishful thinking - it is already happening, thanks to some pioneering Roche achievements.
To improve treatment even further, Roche is developing a gene chip that can identify resistance to anti-HIV medications.
Another Roche vision that could soon become a reality is specific preventive care.
Taking osteoporosis as an example, this would involve analysing a woman’s genetic make-up to determine whether she is at an increased risk for the condition.
Follow-up tests could then be done at appropriate intervals to determine whether the woman has begun experiencing bone loss.
If this were found to be the case, her doctor could start treatment immediately to prevent or delay development of the disease.