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Nicola Sturgeon wants Scotland to be world leader in precision medicine

The First Minister had earlier announced funding of £4.2 million to develop the field.

Nicola Sturgeon wants Scotland to lead the world in precision medicine (Jane Barlow/PA)
Nicola Sturgeon wants Scotland to lead the world in precision medicine (Jane Barlow/PA)

Scotland can be a world leader in the developing field of precision medicine, Nicola Sturgeon has told a national summit.

Precision medicine involves tailoring medical treatments to individual patient characteristics.

Academics believe it can lead to better outcomes for patients, save money, help boost the economy and create jobs.

The First Minister outlined the key strengths Scotland has to be at the forefront of precision medicine to an audience of experts from industry, academia and medicine at the Scotland precision medicine summit in Perth.

The First Minister said: “Scotland has all of the potential to be a world leader in developing precision medicine.”

She said on a visit to China and Hong Kong earlier in the year she spoke to companies about the developing technique and they showed interest in Scotland’s three main advantages in this area –
quality of academic research, success in setting up businesses to commercialise research and the data from NHS Scotland.

She added: “As precision medicine is data-driven and depends on information about patient genetics, environment and lifestyle, that’s a huge asset.

“And – together with our academic and industrial strengths – it’s one on which we’re absolutely determined to capitalise.”

Earlier, she announced £4.2 million of funding for precision medicine over three years.

Glasgow University’s Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak, summit co-chairwoman, said: “Scotland’s precision medicine summit has been a historic opportunity for the health sector in Scotland to speak with one voice – with government, academia, industry and our NHS coming together to declare our intention that Scotland will lead the world in precision medicine, an industry projected to be worth 134 billion US dollars (£102 billion) by 2025.”

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