Will Liability Drive Personalized Medicine?

July 16, 2014
Will Liability Drive Personalized Medicine?

Gary E. Marchant

Rachel A. Lindor

Medical malpractice lawsuits are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, liability can compensate injured patients and push providers to implement the most up-to-date technologies and practices. On the other, the threat of liability can result in wasteful defensive medicine and drive up insurance premiums.

New medical technologies such as personalized medicine trigger both edges of the liability sword. On the positive side, the threat of liability may compel providers to more quickly uptake useful genetic tests and data, but on the negative new liability risks and uncertainties created by personalized medicine may incentivize premature or inappropriate utilization of genetic tests and drive up insurance premiums.

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