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Precision medicine promises to use genomics and other data-intensive approaches to improve diagnosis and develop new treatments for major diseases, but also raises a range of ethical and governance challenges. Implementation of precision medicine in "real world" healthcare systems blurs the boundary between research and care. This has implications for the meaning and validity of consent, and increased potential for discrimination, among other challenges. Increased sharing of personal information raises concerns about privacy, commercialization, and public trust. This paper considers national precision medicine schemes from the USA, the UK, and Japan, comparing how these challenges manifest in each national context and examining the range of approaches deployed to mitigate the potential undesirable social consequences. There is rarely a "one size" fits all solution to these complex problems, but the most viable approaches are those which take account of cultural preferences and attitudes, available resources, and the wider political landscape in which national healthcare systems are embedded.

Original publication




Journal article


Hum Genomics

Publication Date





Consent, Genomics, Insurance, Precision medicine, Privacy, Sustainability, Genome, Human, Genomics, Humans, Informed Consent, Japan, Precision Medicine, Translational Research, Biomedical, United Kingdom, United States