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Thyroid. 2010 Jul;20(7):681-7. doi: 10.1089/thy.2010.1642.

The Canadian Pharmacogenomics Network for Drug Safety: a model for safety pharmacology.

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Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.



Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) rank as one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the developed world, and the direct medical costs of ADRs exceed $100 billion annually in the United States alone. Pharmacogenomics research seeks to identify genetic factors that are responsible for individual differences in drug efficacy and susceptibility to ADRs. This has led to several genetic tests that are currently being used to provide clinical recommendations. The Canadian Pharmacogenomics Network for Drug Safety is a nation-wide effort established in Canada to identify novel predictive genomic markers of severe ADRs in children and adults. A surveillance network has been established in 17 of Canada's major hospitals to identify patients experiencing specific ADRs and to collect biological samples and relevant clinical history for genetic association studies. To identify ADR-associated genetic markers that could be incorporated into predictive tests that will reduce the occurrence of serious ADRs, high-throughput genomic analyses are conducted with samples from patients that have suffered serious ADRs and matched control patients.


ADRs represent a significant unmet medical problem with significant morbidity and mortality, and Canadian Pharmacogenomics Network for Drug Safety is a nation-wide network in Canada that seeks to identify genetic factors responsible for interindividual differences in susceptibility to serious ADRs.


Active ADR surveillance is necessary to identify and recruit patients who suffer from serious ADRs. National and international collaborations are required to recruit sufficient patients for these studies. Several pharmacogenomics tests are currently in clinical use to provide dosing recommendations, and the number of pharmacogenomics tests is expected to significantly increase in the future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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