pharmacogenomics

Warfarin, a commonly used anti-clotting drug, sold under the brand name of Coumadin, has a been a poster child for the promise of pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine. The excitement has come from the idea that knowing a patient's genotype, in this case for the VKORC1 and CYP2C9 genes, would allow physicians to tailor the dose of the drug and get patients the correct dose more quickly. And it seems obvious that a test that would allow doctors to predict your ability to metabolize warfarin, would be a great thing, right?
The New York Times had a great article a couple of days ago on the need for personalized medicine to become more than a catchy phrase. As we're learning more about the interaction between genes and drug metabolism, we're also learning that large numbers of people are either taking the wrong drug or taking drugs that won't work.

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Researchers have known for some time that genetic variants determine how well drugs work. Some versions of a gene cause a drug to be metabolized faster, some slower, and when combined, at an ... Read more

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