Does Pharmacogenomics Provide an Ethical Challenge to the Utilisation of Cost-Effectiveness Analysis by Public Health Systems?
Adam La Caze
Pharmacogenomics promotes an understanding of the genetic basis for differences in efficacy or toxicity of drugs in different individuals. Implementation of the outcomes of pharmacogenomic research into clinical practice presents a number of difficulties for healthcare. This paper aims to highlight one of the unique ethical challenges which pharmacogenomics presents for the utilisation of cost-effectiveness analysis by public health systems. This paper contends that pharmacogenomics provides a challenge to fundamental principles which underlie most systems for deciding which drugs should be publicly subsidised. Pharmacogenomics brings into focus the conflict between equality and utility in the context of using cost-effectiveness analysis to aid distribution of a limited national drug budget.
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