Pharmacogenomics is the study of how an individual's genetic inheritance affects the body's response to drugs. The term comes from the words pharmacology and genomics and is thus the intersection of pharmaceuticals and genetics. Pharmacogenomics holds the promise that drugs might one day be tailor-made for individuals and adapted to each person's own genetic makeup. Environment, diet, age, lifestyle, and state of health all can influence a person's response to medicines, but understanding an individual's genetic makeup is thought to be the key to creating personalized drugs with greater efficacy and safety.
Pharmacogenomics combines traditional pharmaceutical sciences such as biochemistry with annotated knowledge of genes, proteins, and single nucleotide polymorphisms.
BENEFITS OF PHARMACOGENOMICS
1- More Powerful Medicines
Pharmaceutical companies will be able to create drugs based on the proteins, enzymes, and RNA molecules associated with genes and diseases. This will facilitate drug discovery and allow drug makers to produce a therapy more targeted to specific diseases. This accuracy not only will maximize therapeutic effects but also decrease damage to nearby healthy cells.
2- Better, Safer Drugs the First Time
Instead of the standard trial-and-error method of matching patients with the right drugs, doctors will be able to analyze a patient's genetic profile and prescribe the best available drug therapy from the beginning. Not only will this take the guesswork out of finding the right drug, it will speed recovery time and increase safety as the likelihood of adverse reactions is eliminated. Pharmacogenomics has the potential to dramatically reduce the the estimated 100,000 deaths and 2 million hospitalizations that occur each year in the United States as the result of adverse drug response (1).
3- More Accurate Methods of Determining Appropriate Drug Dosages
Current methods of basing dosages on weight and age will be replaced with dosages based on a person's genetics --how well the body processes the medicine and the time it takes to metabolize it. This will maximize the therapy's value and decrease the likelihood of overdose.
4- Advanced Screening for Disease
Knowing one's genetic code will allow a person to make adequate lifestyle and environmental changes at an early age so as to avoid or lessen the severity of a genetic disease. Likewise, advance knowledge of a particular disease susceptibility will allow careful monitoring, and treatments can be introduced at the most appropriate stage to maximize their therapy.
5- Better Vaccines
Vaccines made of genetic material, either DNA or RNA, promise all the benefits of existing vaccines without all the risks. They will activate the immune system but will be unable to cause infections. They will be inexpensive, stable, easy to store, and capable of being engineered...