Pharmacogenetics – expectations and reality

Year: July 1, 2004

Thirty years have passed since Mike Rawlins, the current chairman of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), coauthored a small but perfectly formed book entitled Variability in Human Drug Response. In the interim we have witnessed the waxing and waning of clinical pharmacology and the inexorable rise of genomic medicine. Genomic medicine has generated many expectations with regard to the advent of “personalised medicine” and “individualised prescriptions,” fuelled by the pace of technological advances in genotyping; enthusiasts extrapolating beyond small proof of principle and retrospective studies; and a few apparent success stories, such as the treatment of breast cancer with trastuzumab (Herceptin) and of HIV with abacavir (Ziagen).

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