From pharmacogenetics to personalized medicine: a vital need for educating health professionals and the community

Pharmacogenomics. 2004 Jul;5(5):571-9. doi: 10.1517/14622416.5.5.571.


The field of pharmacogenetics will soon celebrate its 50th anniversary. Although science has delivered an impressive amount of information in these 50 years, pharmacogenetics has suffered from lack of integration into clinical practice. There are several reasons for this, including the unmet need for education at medical schools and the lack of awareness about the impact of genetic medicine on healthcare in the community. Recently, the FDA announced that it considers pharmacogenomics one of three major opportunities on the critical path to new medical products. This notion by the FDA is filling the regulatory void that existed between drug developers and drug users. However, in order to bring pharmacogenetic testing to the prescription pad successfully, healthcare professionals and policy makers, as well as patients, need to have the necessary background knowledge for making educated treatment decisions. To effectively move pharmacogenetics into everyday medicine, it is therefore imperative for scientists and teachers in the field to take on the challenge of disseminating pharmacogenetic insights to a broader audience.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic* / methods
  • Patient Education as Topic* / trends
  • Personal Health Services / methods
  • Personal Health Services / trends
  • Pharmacogenetics / methods*
  • Pharmacogenetics / trends
  • Residence Characteristics