Biological drugs represented a breakthrough in the management of diseases affecting millions of people worldwide.
However, less than half patients do not respond to these drugs with several negative consequences. Relatively to the individual patient, heavy side effects become unjustifiable if no therapeutic benefits are achieved, whereas precious time is dangerously loss and ineffective drug administration postpones more adequate therapeutic intervention. At healthcare level, given their high cost, biological drugs should be better targeted to the patients which have the highest chance to benefit from their usage.
Biological drug monitoring (BDM) is the measurement of biologic drug levels in patients’ blood, and it is one of the main pillars of personalized medicine. Indeed, the information provided by BDM enables subsequent therapeutic decisions to better manage patient health, such as adjustment treatment intensity according to individual pharmacokinetics, or prompt drug change in case of ineffective treatment.
Besides evident advantages concerning the patients’ health and quality of life, BDM allows to better target each patient while minimizing off-target cost, decreasing the risk of later treatment failure linked to underexposure to the biological drug, and reducing treatment intensity to save costs in case of overexposure.