Personalized medicine has been defined as the tailoring of medical treatment based on individual patient
characteristics. In practice, personalized medicine generally involves the stratifying of patient populations based on
biomarkers, most frequently genetic in nature. This results in patient subpopulations likely to show differential responses
to drug therapy in terms of efficacy and toxicity. While the potential for personalized medicine to positively impact on
drug discovery and therapeutics has been widely hyped, clinical uptake has been markedly limited. Over the recent years,
a number of potential barriers to the more widespread uptake of personalized medicine have been identified. These
include technical, economic and social factors. One such barrier is the need for the significant up-skilling of health
professionals in order to harness the potential of personalized medicine and ensure adequate information flow to
consumers. Pharmacists are ideally positioned to be active participants in personalized medicine but to date, their role has
been minimal. While the reasons are multifactorial, we argue that there is a clear need for significant reforming of current
pharmacy curricula. Here we review progress in worldwide pharmaceutical education and practice relevant to global
personalized medicine and public health pharmacogenomics and highlight salient points for future consideration.
Keywords: Education, global personalized medicine, health professional, personalized medicine, pharmacist, pharmacogenetics,
public health pharmacogenomics.
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