There have been a number of notable strides in Hungary in the field of population pharmacogenomics. This paper aims to summarize and share the recent experiences in population genomics and personalized medicine in Hungary with leaders of the Genomic National Technology Platform. The present day Hungary differs from other populations in the region as Hungary was established some 1100 years ago, with founders of the ancestral Hungarian population originating from the east side of the Urals. Additionally, the Roma population of about 700,000 represents the largest ethnic minority living in Hungary. In a series of investigations, we found significant differences between the Hungarian and Roma populations in clinically relevant pharmacogenomics targets such as VKORC1 and CYP2C9 genes. Pharmacogenomics applications are also of interest from the standpoint of biomarker-guided drug discovery in Hungary which we highlight briefly in this paper. Regulatory, ethical and economic aspects of genomics are other dimensions crucial for efficient transition of basic genomics discoveries from laboratory to the clinic. Importantly, Hungary has a Parliamental Act for regulation of genetic diagnostic and research test procedures, and for regulation of biobanks since 2008. Diagnostic molecular pharmacogenomics tests are reimbursed from the same insurance budget as with the other molecular biology based tests in Hungary. Personalized medicine diagnostics require further considerations on how best to integrate and reimburse them in routine healthcare as this new field evolves in Hungary.
Keywords: CYP2C9 and VKORC1 variations, Hungarians and Roma, personalized therapy, population pharmacogenomics, warfarin
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