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Pharmacogenomics. 2001 Aug;2(3):291-6.

4th Annual Pharmacogenomics and Medicine Lectures.

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  • 1Genaissance Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Five Science Park, New Haven, CT 06511, USA. p.oestreicher@genaissance.com


In the future, pharmacogenomics will play an important role in the treatment of patients by making it possible to predict drug response based on an individual's genetic make-up. Similarly, pharmacogenomics may be used to reduce the probability that adverse effects will occur. The use of a patient's genetic information will lead to greater predictability in clinical outcomes and personalisation of medical care. Pharmacogenomic information can also aid in drug development by helping to select individuals that are likely to respond to a medication for participation in clinical trials. Integration of pharmacogenomics into the healthcare system has a number of potential economic benefits, including reduced costs of healthcare and drug discovery. The FDA has no specific plans to regulate therapy-guiding pharmacogenomic tests, which are different from diagnostic genetic tests. There are a number of ethical issues related to pharmacogenomics, including the credibility of the system for protecting the rights and welfare of human research subjects, general concerns about genetic research, privacy issues and equitable distribution of the technology. To ensure integration of pharmacogenomics into the healthcare system it will be important to obtain public support through education about the benefits and risks of this technology.

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