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DANA POINT, Calif. — Even the best treatment for a disease is no help if you can’t pinpoint the patients who need it. And a panel of experts this week grappled with the fact that securing payment for new diagnostics remains a major hurdle to turning personalized medicine’s splashy promises into reality.

The discussion, held Thursday at the 16th annual Personalized Medicine Conference, comes at a time when more companies are launching tests that mine treasure troves of biological data for signs of disease in a bid to match the right treatment to the right patient. But the panel underscored a hard truth: Developing a diagnostic test is one thing, ensuring it’s widely available is another.

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