Pharmacogenomics is a science that examines the inherited variations in genes that dictate drug response. The way a person responds to a drug (this includes both positive and negative reactions) is a complex trait that is influenced by many different genes. It is an emerging new field being fuelled by the vast amounts of information flowing from the various genome projects. This new field bridges the gap between pharmacology, drug treatment and the patient and is mainly dependent on the study of the relationship between population's genetic variation and drug response. Despite advances in modern medicine, in practice it remains difficult for physicians to determine a patient's response to a treatment. A drug that is safe and effective for one patient may prove to be dangerous or ineffective in another. In some cases, the lack of effectiveness of a drug or the occurrence of side-effects can be linked to factors such as medication errors. However, it is now known that a significant proportion of differential drug response is genetic in origin. This genetic angle has often not been fully appreciated. Without knowing all of the genes involved in drug response, scientists have found it difficult to develop genetic tests that could predict a person's response to a particular drug. In future Pharmacogenomics represents a radical advance in medical history. In the past, most drugs were designed to work on the population level rather than being targeted for the individual patient. By reversing that trend, pharmacogenomics helps to refine the focus of treatment and makes drugs more effective and less toxic.
Author : http://www.pharmainfo.net/sirisha
Click to see next slide