The aim of the extensive project initiated by the Ministry of Social Affairs in spring 2023 and carried out by the University of Tartu was to draw up a “Long-term personalised medicine programme for 2024-2034”. As a legal expert, the University of Tartu engaged the regional head of our medical and health care team, counsel Lise-Lotte Lääne.

“The aim of the programme was to map the current concerns and develop solutions for bringing the latest and most innovative personalised medicine solutions to our people,” explains our counsel Lise-Lotte Lääne. Simply put, personalised medicine is a medical model that uses all kinds of data related to or potentially affecting a person’s health to develop a proper treatment strategy for a specific individual at the right time. It is also used to identify the predisposing factors for disease, so that targeted disease prevention measures can be taken in a timely manner. In an ideal world, information on a person’s health risks should reach the individual in time and proactively, so as to prevent and avoid (or at least effectively treat) health problems. “No isolated measure or action will guarantee such results, but a combination of measures should bring personalised medicine into our everyday publicly funded healthcare, not only in theory but also in practice,” says Lise-Lotte.

Lääne notes that Estonia has so far lacked a programme defining personalised medicine and its objectives in a broad sense. “For example, personalised medicine used to be designed narrowly on the basis of genetic data, but there has been no general reflection on how personalised medicine as a whole could function in Estonia. The finalised programme aimed to clarify the big picture of personalised medicine and to highlight the aspects and obstacles that blur this picture.”

Counsel Lise-Lotte Lääne, along with associate Jaanika Alevi and assistant lawyer Kärt Saar, conducted a legal analysis of the entire programme. This included extensive mapping of Estonian and EU legislation and the analysis and interpretation of laws and regulations in the light of the programme’s content. “In the final phase of the programme, it also meant analysing whether the actions and recommendations to be written into the programme require changes to the legal framework, and if so, then what kind,” says Lääne.

Our experts also participated in the seminars and meetings organised for the preparation of the programme (including five focus interviews, one seminar for the wider public at the Ministry of Social Affairs and one programme launch event), contributing a total of over 100 working hours to the programme.