Pharmacogenetics: the Dx perspective

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The promise of the rapidly developing field of pharmacogenetics is that genetically determined propensities of individual patients to respond favorably or adversely to a given pharmacologic agent will be able to be determined prior to administration of that drug. The realization of that promise, however, is predicated on a number of developments in the capabilities of diagnostic laboratories. These developments include the introduction of automated technologies for efficiently and accurately detecting, quantifying and decoding specific nucleic acid sequences and the concomitant availability of information technology-based applications for rapidly analyzing, interpreting and then communicating complex genetic data to healthcare providers. This article will review currently available and developmental molecular diagnostic technology and in addition, describe the current status and speculate on the future of pharmacogenetic testing in the clinical laboratory.

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