Pharmacogenomics – Doorway to Personalized Medicine


If the right patient is treated at the right time with right drug, side effects can be avoided, inefficiencies can be avoided” – Dr. Edward Abrahams.

A Quick Look Through: 

Today in the modern-day world, if you can see, mankind is speeding away with disparate advancements in technology. Scientific notation from field to fork speaks for itself on many a global platform; agriculturally and organically. If consuming agricultural produce is giving muscle and nutritional balance, the chemical produce (medicine) sadly is delaying the ultimate. In a time where medicine has become the new food, a scene of annoyance, it’s only our individual selves who should differentiate between the good and bad; the necessary and needed. We, as individuals are distinctive at every level of human make-up; more in specific at genetic level and react to various environments differently. Such is the case with food and medicines we take. 

The reality that genes have a say in the response to drug therapy has been known for nearly half-a-century. Chronic reactions to drugs stand fourth among the biggest cause of deaths, way ahead of road mishaps and lifestyle diseases. Yet, a basic understanding that every drug will act differently for every individual can prevent many occurring deaths. This leads us to a rather enthralling part of science, Pharmacogenomics (Bansal V et al, 2005).

As the name says, Pharmacogenomics is a section of genetics which determines the response of an individual for a particular medicine or drug. The major objective of Pharmacogenomics is to manage the specified drug to the specified person at a specific time, thereby minimizing any side effects. However, a lot of hurdles are yet to be overcome. The ethical, social, and legal issues need to be addressed. Pharmacoeconomic analysis for new drug development using Pharmacogenomics as a tool and the diagnostic procedures all need to be analyzed critically. This applies to how a specific drug breaks down, is utilized, and excreted from our systems. For many medicines, this depends on DNA and the uniqueness of its response to medications. This stands the main reason for pharmacogenomics representing precision and personalized medicine.

Advantages of Pharmacogenomics:

Pharmacogenomics combines ancient pharmaceutical sciences like organic chemistry with annotated data of proteins, genes, and single ester polymorphisms. It has the following advantages. 

  • Correct and safer drugs from the initial administration
  • Accurate ways to determine appropriate drug dosages
  • Time and cost effective
  • Advanced medication
  • Reduction in the total cost of health care
  • Ability to identify suitable therapies by using genome targets



Prior to a pharmacogenomic test it is advisable to have an understanding about how your genes react to drugs. You may consider asking yourself, the following thoughts.

  • Type of treatment combinations to be administered
  • Alternatives in therapy
  • An estimate of the body’s reaction to a particular treatment
  • Side effects if any

In the days gone by, the capacity of the drug and its absorption was nothing but an assumption. Also, the sale of drugs is so high, that adverse drug reactions have moved to the top 10 causes of death. What if I say, the most frequently administered medicines are not treating people but only their symptoms? If we are aware about the type of drugs; the possible outcome and their working capacity, it would provide exciting insights. This is data that can reduce unwanted risk, can increase the probability of a successful treatment, and save a human life. This is pharmacogenomics. This data, this very intriguing pharmacogenomic one is all but hidden inside you. You can, courtesy an advancement of technologies in sequencing and the broadening of genetic research, get your genetic profile tested and understand your body’s response to many drugs.

This testing of your genetic code can be achieved with a mere saliva swab by our proprietary test, Medicamap, a cutting-edge pharmacogenomic test which analyses an individual’s drug-response profile, based on genetic makeup to unknot your distinctive profile. It has more 99% of data accuracy and carefully selected genetic markers for various drugs including FDA recommended drug compounds. Our report will help you understand how your body activates drugs, breaks them down, and prevents toxic buildup. This personalized report will give an idea to your doctor, the medications that will work for and against you. With this test, a physician can prescribe suitable treatment options and dosage that works for the patient. This, we say, is doorway to personalized medicine and many a prosperous therapy. The following types of drugs are covered in a Medicamap report.

A Sneak Peak into Medicamap:

Types of Medication Covered in Medicamap:

Type Example
Anti-Microbial Drugs Antiretrovirals, Antimalarials, Betalactam Pencillins
Psychiatric Medications Antidepressants, Anticonvulsants
Cardiovascular Agents Statins, Blood Thinners, Antiplatelets, Beta-blockers
Gastrointestinal Drugs Proton Pump Inhibitors, Antidiabetics
Immunosuppressants Thiopurines
Chemotherapeutic Drugs Taxanes, Platinum-based Drugs, Enzyme Inhibitors

Non-Invasive: Buccal swab sampling in Mapmygenome kit
Key features: 

  • Design:  Validated SNVs* (recommended by the FDA) included in the panel
  • Technology:  High-throughput genotyping on bead-chip microarray
  • Accuracy: Data accuracy of 99.9%
  • Maximum coverage: Broad spectrum of drug classes covered for cardiology, diabetology, hematology, neurology, oncology, infectious disease, etc.

Benefits of Medicamap: 

  • Aligns treatment based on the genetic drug response profile
  • Reduces the duration of treatment while increasing efficiency
  • Moves away from trial and error
  • Reduces chances of adverse reactions
  • Understands your response to medication
  • Helps your doctor help you
  • Saves time and burdened costs
  • Provides valuable information for your future generations

Personalized Medicine

To cut a long story short, pharmacogenomics is a tool, awaiting use for the maximum benefit. The important objectives of it are: personalized therapy, improvement in efficacy and reduction in adverse drug reactions, correlation of genotype with clinical genotype, identification of novel targets for new drugs, and pharmacogenetic profiling of patients to predict disease susceptibility and drug response. In the past, majority of the medication were designed to figure on the population level instead of being targeted for the individual patient. By reversing that trend, pharmacogenomics helps to refine the focus of treatment and makes drugs more effective and less toxic. Rather than relying on the outward manifestation of disease the signs and symptoms that physicians call the phenotype pharmacogenomic medicine examines and treats the genotype. Gradual inclusion of pharmacogenomic studies in drug discovery and development will cause substantial reduction in the expenses involved in drug development, ensure a safe clinical trial, and reduce failures. Thus, many potential drugs which may be lost due to the effects on the outliers in a study can be retained when pharmacogenomic study is used in the future.

All-inclusively, we can hope that personalized medicine will drive all stakeholders toward earlier and more efficient decision-making on a wide variety of medical care choices. Such decision-making and subsequent utilization of health care resources, ideally, will require redesigning systems of treatment and would require financial assistance from the government more than ever.


  • Bansal, V., V. Kumar, and B. Medhi. “Future challenges of pharmacogenomics in clinical practice.” JK Science 7.3 (2005): 176-179.
  • T P, Aneesh et al. “Pharmacogenomics: the right drug to the right person.”Journal of clinical medicine research vol. 1,4 (2009): 191-4. doi:10.4021/jocmr2009.08.1255
  • Vogenberg, F Randy et al. “Personalized medicine: part 1: evolution and development into theranostics.” P & T: a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management vol. 35,10 (2010): 560-76.


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