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Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2002 Jan;1(1):37-44.

The genetic basis of variability in drug responses.

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  • 1Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 532 Robinson Research Building, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.


It is almost axiomatic that patients vary widely in their beneficial responses to drug therapy, and serious and apparently unpredictable adverse drug reactions continue to be a major public health problem. Here, we discuss the concept that genetic variants might determine much of this variability in drug response, and propose an algorithm to enable further evaluation of the benefits and pitfalls of this enticing possibility.

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