Pharmacogenetics: the Rx perspective

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Pharmacogenetics is changing the way medicines are discovered, developed and delivered to patients. In this article, we present the ‘prescription’ perspective - how the results of pharmacogenetic research will help minimize the risk of costly adverse drug reactions and treatment failures, by providing predictive tools to enable healthcare providers to prescribe the right medicine for the right patient. We discuss the challenges of this research and its clinical application; its implications for drug development; evolving concepts of informed consent; related ethical, legal and social issues; changing definitions of ‘genetic testing’; and the creation of an international Pharmacogenetics Working Group.

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