Pharmacogenomics and individualized medicine: translating science into practice

Research on genes and medications has advanced our understanding of the genetic basis of individual drug responses. The aim of pharmacogenomics is to develop strategies for individualizing therapy for patients, in order to optimize outcome through knowledge of the variability of the human genome and its influence on drug response. Pharmacogenomics research is translational in nature and ranges from discovery of genotype-phenotype relationships to clinical trials that can provide proof of clinical impact. Advances in pharmacogenomics offer significant potential for subsequent clinical application in individual patients; however, the translation of pharmacogenomics research findings into clinical practice has been slow. Key components to successful clinical implementation of pharmacogenomics will include consistent interpretation of pharmacogenomics test results, availability of clinical guidelines for prescribing on the basis of test results, and knowledge-based decision support systems.

Type Article
CME Available No

Genomic Competencies

Experts from the disciplines listed below have tagged this resource as fulfulling genomic competencies.


  • Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI)
    • E4:   To appreciate the cost, cost-effectiveness, and reimbursement by insurers relevant to genomic or pharmacogenomic tests and test interpretation, for patients and populations
  • Pharmacogenetics/Pharmacogenomics
    • P1:   To demonstrate an understanding of how genetic variation in a large number of proteins, including drug transporters, drug metabolizing enzymes, direct protein targets of drugs, and other proteins (e.g. signal transduction proteins) influence pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics related to pharmacologic effect and drug response
    • P2:   To understand the influence (or lack thereof) of ethnicity in genetic polymorphisms and associations of polymorphisms with drug response
    • P3:   Recognize the availability of evidence based guidelines that synthesize information relevant to genomic/pharmacogenomic tests and selection of drug therapy (e.g. Clinical Pharmacogenomics Implementation Consortium)