What is pharmacogenomics?
Pharmacogenomics is an emerging field of study focused on how a person’s genes affect how he or she responds to medications. It combines the field of pharmacology (the study of drugs) with genomics (the study of all of a person’s genes).
Pharmacogenomics is part of the field of precision medicine, which aims to customize and tailor healthcare to each individual patient.
Why is pharmacogenomics important in healthcare?
Doctors prescribe drugs based on a variety of factors, such as a patient’s age, weight, sex, and other medications. However, it can be difficult to predict what patients will benefit from a medication, who will respond at all and who will experience negative side effects. This can lead to a long process involving trial and error to identify the right medication for a patient.
Researchers have begun to identify genetic variants that affect how people respond to certain drugs. Currently, more than 200 medications include pharmacogenomic information on labels.
Pharmacogenomics can have an impact on drug design, development and prescribing guidelines. Drug companies can use it to develop and market medication to people with specific genetic profiles, while providers can leverage pharmacogenomic information to prescribe the best medication for each patient.