In pharmacogenomics, genetic variation is studied in relation to specific genes and its effects on drug responses such as disposition, safety, tolerability, and efficacy8. The fundamental objective of pharmacogenetics is to provide the right drug, at the right time, with the right dose, to the right patient, for the right indication. Variation in drug effects occurs for many reasons, including genetics, the patient’s age and gender, environmental factors, behavioral characteristics, renal and liver function, nutritional status, and illness, as well as pathogenesis and severity of the disease treated as well as drug interaction with other medicines6. Pharmacogenomics examines the effects of genes on the body’s response to drugs.
Developing Personalized Medicine
It is possible that one day drugs and medications will be made specifically for each individual and tailored to their genetic profile. By doing this, it is predicted that personalized drugs will be produced with enhanced safety and efficacy. Occasionally, patients break down medications more quickly than is necessary, resulting in an inadequate breakdown of the drugs, while in other cases, the medications do not break down rapidly enough, causing them to accumulate in the body and causing side effects. The CYP450 test, which examines the cytochrome P450, a group of enzymes responsible for drug metabolism, can help to determine whether this is the case4. An individual may be tested to determine whether they possess these genetic variations. As a result, doctors can make more informed decisions about what medications to prescribe. Consequently, the chances of the patient undergoing a successful treatment are increased and the likelihood of experiencing side effects is decreased7.
There are numerous benefits to utilization of pharmacogenomics in healthcare. Pharmaceutical companies will be able to create medicines by analyzing enzymes, RNA molecules, and proteins related to diseases and genes, making them more powerful3. To determine the correct dosage of a drug, genetics will be used and not age or weight, two factors that do not always lead to the correct dosage. Trial and error will be eliminated, providing patients with the right treatment the first time. An advanced screening method for genetic diseases is being developed2. Once a patient knows their genetic code, he or she can make the necessary lifestyle and environmental changes in order to minimize the chances of developing a genetic disease. Pharmaceutical companies will be able to easily identify potential drug targets using genome information. Getting drugs approved, finding the right medication for a patient before removing multiple medications, increasing medication target ranges, and decreasing failed drug trials will all contribute to a decrease in hospital costs1. The advances in the field of pharmacogenomics will allow for better directed development of safe and effective medical treatments and personalized vaccines5. The benefits of genetically modified vaccines will outweigh any risks currently associated with them. Pharmacogenomics in the clinical setting will give physicians a better understanding of how long-term health risks affect patients, how to diagnose the stage of patients’ diseases more accurately, and how to predict how patients will respond to specific drugs more precisely or outcomes related to adverse events.
PharmD Candidate 2022
Temple University School of Pharmacy
1. Bishop J. R. (2018). Pharmacogenetics. Handbook of Clinical Neurology, 147, 59–73. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-444-63233-3.00006-3
2. Cavallari, L. H., Lee, C. R., Duarte, J. D., Nutescu, E. A., Weitzel, K. W., Stouffer, G. A., & Johnson, J. A. (2016). Implementation of inpatient models of pharmacogenetics programs. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 73(23), 1944-1954. https://doi.org/10.2146/ajhp150946
3. Hicks, J. K., Dunnenberger, H. M., Gumpper, K. F., Haidar, C. E., & Hoffman, J. M. (2016). Integrating pharmacogenomics into electronic health records with clinical decision support. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 73(23), 1967-1976. https://doi.org/10.2146/ajhp160030
4. Johnson, J. A. (2016). Pharmacists should jump onto the clinical pharmacogenetics train. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 73(23), 2013-2016. https://doi.org10.2146/ajhp160046
5. Poland, G. A., Ovsyannikova, I. G., & Jacobson, R. M. (2009). Application of pharmacogenomics to vaccines. Pharmacogenomics, 10(5), 837–852. https://doi.org/10.2217/pgs.09.25
6. Roden, D. M., McLeod, H. L., Relling, M. V., Williams, M. S., Mensah, G. A., Peterson, J. F., & Van Driest, S. L. (2019). Pharmacogenomics. Lancet (London, England), 394(10197), 521–532. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31276-0
7. Schuck, R. N., Marek, E., Rogers, H., & Pacanowski, M. (2016). Clinical and regulatory considerations in pharmacogenetic testing. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 73(23), 1999-2006. https://doi.org10.2146/ajhp160476
8. Weinshilboum, R. M., & Wang, L. (2017). Pharmacogenomics: Precision medicine and drug response. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 92(11), 1711–1722. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocp.2017.09.001