A review of clinical pharmacogenetics Studies in African populations

Per Med. 2020 Mar;17(2):155-170. doi: 10.2217/pme-2019-0110. Epub 2020 Mar 3.


Effective interventions and treatments for complex diseases have been implemented globally, however, coverage in Africa has been comparatively lower due to lack of capacity, clinical applicability and knowledge on the genetic contribution to disease and treatment. Currently, there is a scarcity of genetic data on African populations, which have enormous genetic diversity. Pharmacogenomics studies have the potential to revolutionise treatment of diseases, therefore, African populations are likely to benefit from these approaches to identify likely responders, reduce adverse side effects and optimise drug dosing. This review discusses clinical pharmacogenetics studies conducted in African populations, focusing on studies that examined drug response in complex diseases relevant to healthcare. Several pharmacogenetics associations have emerged from African studies, as have gaps in knowledge.

Keywords: Africa; communicable diseases; genetic variation; noncommunicable diseases; pharmacogenetics; pharmacogenomics; precision medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Black People / genetics*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Humans
  • Pharmacogenomic Variants*