Pharmacogenetics: A New – or not so New?—Concept in Healthcare
Pharmacogenetics is today widely proclaimed as being about to revolutionize the face of medicine. In a more realistic assessment, the implementation of molecular genetics and biology will continue to provide us, as it has done already, with better ways to diagnose and treat illnesses, but it will do so at a stepwise and evolutionary pace, based on an improved understanding of the nature of disease, allowing more specific treatments, better risk prediction, and the implementation of preventive strategies. As such, future progress in biomedicine will travel the same well-trodden paths of improved differential diagnosis and risk prediction along which it has advanced for the last decades and centuries. So, while meaningful biomedical research today, by and large, depends on the use of the newly developed tools of genetics and genomics, and the insights we gain through them, it is unlikely to fundamentally change the direction of medical progress. The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance (2003) 28, 316–330. doi:10.1111/1468-0440.00226
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