Background

Pharmacogenomics is the field of genomics which deals with genetic markers or determinants of drug efficacy. In other words it deals with the study of how genetic factors relate to inter individual variability of drug response. Genetic variations or polymorphisms within populations have been known to affect the response to various drugs in different individuals. As a result, the knowledge of an individual’s genetic status could potentially be used to predict their response to drugs, with a consequence of improving drug efficacy, and decreasing the probability of adverse drug reactions.

Rapid advances in research have contributed significantly to in-depth knowledge of the genetics of diseases in humans, and have led to the development of an expanding array of genetic markers and tests to assess these genetic variants and their influence. In the fast evolving field of medical sciences and patient care, pharmacogenomics has timely emerged as a field which holds great promise in tailoring therapy and care to individual patients.

At present, the evidence of the applicability and potential health outcome benefits of these tests are emerging, with presently over 11,000 articles in the field and now a large number of drugs and markers which have shown significant associations with variability in drug response. However, the applicability and usability of this data is quite limited due to the un-availability of a central resource and standards to compare associations, methods and their respective confidence levels.


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