The traditional approach to the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) relied on the uniform use of cytotoxic chemotherapy. Over the last eight years, this paradigm of care has been shifting towards the use of molecularly targeted agents. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR
) mutations have emerged as an important biomarker for these targeted agents and multiple studies have shown that tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) that inhibit EGFR are superior to traditional chemotherapy in patients possessing an EGFR
mutation. Nationally funded health care systems face a number of challenges in implementing these targeted therapies, most related to the need to test for biomarkers that predict likelihood of benefiting from the drug. These obstacles include the challenge of getting a large enough tissue sample, workload of involved specialists, reliability of subtyping in NSCLC, differences in biomarker tests, and the disconnect between the funding of drugs and the related biomarker test. In order to improve patient outcomes, in a national healthcare system, there is a need for governments to accept the changing paradigm, invest in technology and build capacity for molecular testing to facilitate the implementation of improved patient care.