Research in the field of pharmacogenetics (PGx) has been growing exponentially over the past decade in a
manner that is disproportionate to the rate of its incorporation into clinical practice. That is why efforts to further PGx
education in health professional schools have been initiated to reduce the gap that currently exists between research and
practice. Because there is a current paucity of information regarding the status of PGx education in low and middle
income countries (LMICs) in comparison to high income countries, the aim of our study was to evaluate this important
gap using an online survey that we electronically sent to the relevant delegates of the International Union of Basic and
Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) “World Pharma 2010” meeting (Copenhagen, July 2010). Respondents from 25 global
institutions answered our survey, of which more than half had already incorporated PGx teaching into their curricula.
Although PGx was an integral part of the World Pharma 2010 topics, only few PGx abstracts from LMICs were presented
when compared to high income countries: 37 abstracts from 18 high income countries compared to 20 from 16 LMICs
(Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Cuba, Iran, Lebanon, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago,
Tunisia, Turkey, and Uganda). PGx education was mainly introduced as part of the already existing pharmacology
courses, was dedicated an average of 2-4 hours of teaching, and was mainly delivered through lectures and seminars. Even
though these findings are on par with the international guidelines that outline the minimal requirements of PGx education
in health professional schools, further strategic planning for PGx education is no doubt crucial which can be informed by
our findings reported herein. This research paper presents a discussion and concrete ways forward for teaching PGx for
global personalized medicine in LMICS and beyond. To the best of our knowledge, our study provides one of the first
empirical insights into the current status of PGx teaching in LMICs.
Education research in postgenomics medicine, empirical survey, International Union of Basic and Clinical
Pharmacology, IUPHAR, low and middle income countries, LMICs, pharmacogenetics, World Pharma 2010.
American University of Beirut, PO. Box 11-0236, Riad El Solh, Beirut 1107 2020, Lebanon.