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Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2010;50:423-37. doi: 10.1146/annurev.pharmtox.010909.105805.

Economic opportunities and challenges for pharmacogenomics.

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  • 1UNC Institute for Pharmacogenomics and Individualized Therapy, Department of Health Policy and Management, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 27599, USA.


Economic evaluation provides health care decision makers with a powerful tool for resource allocation decisions because it offers a framework for comparing the costs and benefits of competing interventions or options. This paper reviews how economic analyses have been applied to the field of pharmacogenomics, both by the pharmaceutical industry to inform investment decisions and by payers to make coverage decisions. There is much anticipation that pharmacogenomic testing is likely to be cost-effective because it uses genomic information to improve drug effectiveness and reduce toxicity both in the drug development process and at the bedside. However, the demonstration of economic benefits first requires that pharmacogenomic testing show evidence of clinical effectiveness. This will only be achieved by greater participation of pharmacogenomics experts in comparative effectiveness research and additional emphasis on including costs in the determination of the relative value of pharmacogenomic testing to the health care system.

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