Pharmacogenetics is the intersection of the fields of pharmacology and genetics. Simply stated, pharmacogenetics is the study of how genetic variations affect the ways in which people respond to drugs. These variations can manifest themselves as differences in the drug targets or as differences in the enzymes that metabolize drugs. A difference in the target will usually lead to differences in how well the drug works, whereas differences in metabolizing enzymes can result in differences in either efficacy or toxicity. Its also possible that genes not directly involved in a particular pathway could end up being predictive of clinical outcomes. Although pharmacogenomics has the potential to radically change the way health care is provided, it is only in its infancy. In the future, pharmacogenomics could find uses along the entire drug discovery and development timeline, all the way from target discovery and validation to late-stage clinical trials. Beyond that, pharmacogenomics tests could find their way into the doctors office as a means to get the right medicine to the right patient at the right time. While genetics and genomics are often used synonymously, pharmacogenetics is more focused in scope than and is viewed as a subset of pharmacogenomics, which encompasses factors beyond those that are inherited.
Keywords: Pharmacogenomics, GC, HPLC, CE, MS
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