Personalised Medicine

Expert study (2012-2014)


Opportunities and risks of Personalised Medicine

One of the most important publicised fields of application for Personalised Medicine is prevention. This is also where the group of users is the largest – because each one might be a carrier of hereditary factors that are associated with increased risks of disease. In those cases where the persons affected can take appropriate measures to beneficially influence the course of a disease, it is certainly useful to know about the risks of disease. But on the other hand, there are unresolved questions: How meaningful are the tests for disease risks currently available? How are the results notified to those concerned, so that they can modify their behaviour in a suitable way? Who has access to the test results? 

Why conduct a TA-SWISS study on this subject? 

Genome analysis enables ever-broader statements to be made about the causes and risks of disease. There are already providers who for a few hundred US dollars will carry out «Gene testing for all». Because of the rapid advances in genome analysis, the importance of the subject is still growing. There is some controversy about whether those persons who allow their DNA to be tested actually receive data from such tests that is of any use. Moreover, efforts are being made to revise the Swiss Federal law on genetic testing on human beings.

Results and downloads

Press release of 28 March 2014 in French or German

Learn more

Report of the European Academies Science Advisory Councils EASAC and the Federation of European Academies of Medicine FEAM (2012): «Direct-to-consumer genetic testing for health-related purposes in the European Union»:

Report of the Office for Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag TAB (2008): «Individualisierte Medizin und Gesundheitssystem»:


Project supported by

  • Centre for Technology Assessment TA-SWISS
  • Swiss Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
  • Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences SAMS
  • National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics NEK-CNE

Project mandataries

  • Dr Anne Eckhardt (project manager), risicare GmbH, Zollikerberg
  • Michèle Marti, risicare GmbH, Zollikerberg
  • Dr Alexander Navarini, Department of Dermatology, Zürich University Hospital
  • Alecs Recher, Faculty of Law, University of Lucerne
  • Prof. Dr Klaus-Peter Rippe, Ethik im Diskurs GmbH, Zürich
  • Prof. Dr Bernhard Rütsche, Faculty of Law, University of Lucerne
  • Dr Harry Telser, Polynomics AG, Olten

Supervisory group

  • Prof. Dr Giatgen Spinas, Zürich University Hospital, Chair of the supervisory group
  • Dr Hermann Amstad, Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences SAMS, Basel
  • Cristina Benedetti, Commission of Experts for Genetic Testing on Human Beings GUMEK-CEAGH, Bern
  • Prof. Dr Sven Bergmann, Computational Biology, University of Lausanne
  • Heidi Blattmann, science journalist, Herrliberg
  • Prof. Dr Verena Briner, Lucerne Cantonal Hospital
  • Dr Matthias Bürgin, Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, Bern  
  • Prof. Dr Daniel Gygax, Life Sciences, University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, Muttenz
  • Pius Gyger, Helsana Health Insurance, Zürich
  • Dr Bertrand Kiefer, National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics NEK-CNE
  • Dr. med. Pedro Koch, Senior Health Consultant, Küsnacht
  • Prof. Dr Donald Kossmann, Institute of Information Systems, ETH Zürich
  • Prof. Dr Sabine Maasen, Programme for Scientific Research, University of Basel
  • Thomas Müller, Editor Schweizer Radio SRF, Bern
  • Prof. Dr Andreas Papassotiropoulos, Department of Molecular Neuroscience, University of Basel
  • Dr Simone Romagnoli, National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics NEK-CNE
  • Dr Heiner Sandmeier, Interpharma, Basel
  • Prof. Dr Brigitte Tag, Institute of Law, University of Zürich
  • Dr Effy Vayena, Institute for Biomedical Ethics, University of Zürich

TA-SWISS project managment

  • Dr. Adrian Rüegsegger, TA-SWISS. E-mail

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