Friday, November 16, 2007

Personalized medicine slowly taking shape

I find the concept of basing drug therapy on genetics to be fascinating. I've actually seen it in my practice already, and I expect in a few years we'll see a lot more of it.

Personalized medicine -- tailoring treatments to an individual's genetic profile -- has been one of the main dreams of the gene revolution, but putting it into practice is proving tough.

While advances are being made in a few areas, so-called pharmacogenetics will not change the commercial landscape for the bulk of pharmaceuticals for several years, drugmakers told the Reuters Health Summit in New York this week.

"Pharmacogenetics is not going to transform this market any time soon," said Jean-Pierre Garnier, chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline Plc.

"Let's be clear -- it's going to take 20 years plus. Does that mean you are going to have zero happening? No. It's already happening. But it is going to be very specific examples." ...more

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