# Precision Medicine to be the Next Big Thing in Indian Healthcare, Says Boehringer Ingelheim Medical Director
## The Alarming Rise of Non-Communicable Diseases in India
A recent study conducted by the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has revealed that the prevalence of diabetes and other metabolic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in India is considerably higher than previously estimated. The study found that 3.1 crore more Indians became diabetic between 2019 and 2021, whereas close to 40 percent of the population was struck by abdominal obesity in the same period. This alarming rise of NCDs in India has made precision medicine the next big thing in healthcare.
## Precision Medicine is the Way Forward
Dr Shraddha Bhure, who is the medical director of German pharma major Boehringer Ingelheim, believes that precision medicine is extremely relevant in cancers arising from specific gene mutations as well as in relatively rare diseases. With the latest data on NCDs, she suggests that customised approaches should be considered as the next line of treatment, beyond the foundational pillars of care. Precision medicine is an essential approach to medical care, in which patient clusters can be identified, she added.
## Tailored Approach to Clinical Care
Dr Bhure said the approach to clinical care could be tailored as per the priorities of patients. For example, youth-onset diabetes was a subgroup of Type 2 that deserved a more focused approach for optimum long-term care. Beyond precision medicine, personalised medicine is the art of customising the approach to every individual patient depending on clinical priorities. “The approach to disorders like diabetes and hypertension have been increasingly evolving towards precision and personalised care, with the progressive availability of newer interventions,” Dr Bhure said.
## Boehringer Ingelheim’s Commitment to NCD Care
Boehringer Ingelheim claims to have been striving to improve NCD care in the areas of diabetes, brain stroke, cardiovascular, and kidney diseases in India. The company ranks first in the country in the non-insulin market within the diabetes care segment. “The company aims to reduce the number of deaths caused by NCDs, which account for 7 out of 10 worldwide. To achieve this goal, the company has developed a medicine portfolio focused on curing NCDs, accounting for nearly 85% of its entire portfolio,” Dr Bhure said.
## Meeting Quality Standards in Pharma and Healthcare
Dr Bhure said to serve patients with chronic NCDs, it was essential to meet quality standards in pharmaceuticals and healthcare for “ensuring excellence in long-term patient outcomes”. “In fact, the evolution of regulations can be a step forward in reinforcing the quality of care received by the patient,” she said. “Access to medical care is poised to improve significantly, with the focus of the government to raise healthcare expenditure.”
## Government Spending on Healthcare
Dr Bhure added: “The government spending in India’s total health expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product has risen to 2.1% in 2022 and is expected to rise to 2.5% by 2025.” She said the financial reinforcement for government-driven NCD programmes, as well as state and union territory-level healthcare sector financing, should optimally support healthcare prioritisation in our population.
The rise of NCDs in India is a cause for concern, but precision medicine offers hope for better patient outcomes. Boehringer Ingelheim’s commitment to NCD care and meeting quality standards in pharma and healthcare will go a long way in achieving this goal.