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The clinical and economic implications of pharmacogenomics

Part 1. Genetics

1.6. Genetic Medicine and Clinical Genetics

Specialist Review

  1. David L. Veenstra

Published Online: 15 APR 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047001153X.g106225

Encyclopedia of Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics

Encyclopedia of Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics

How to Cite

Veenstra, D. L. 2005. The clinical and economic implications of pharmacogenomics. Encyclopedia of Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics. 1:1.6:73.

Author Information

  1. University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2005


The rapid advance of the Human Genome Project and the development of new genetic analysis technologies promise to bring a new era of genomics to medicine. Among the applications of genetics to medicine, pharmacogenomics will likely be one of the first tangible benefits from the Human Genome Project. It has been suggested that the use of pharmacogenomics will be widespread and lead to lower health care costs, but there has been little outcomes research on pharmacogenomics.

The objective of this article is to present a cost-effectiveness framework for evaluating the incremental clinical and economic benefits of pharmacogenomic-based therapies, apply this framework to noted pharmacogenomic examples, and evaluate the potential impact of pharmacogenomics on research and development in the pharmaceutical industry and the delivery of health care.

The use of pharmacogenomics to individualize drug therapy will offer clinical and economic benefits. However, these benefits must be weighed against the additional cost of genotyping all patients in order to adjust the therapy in a few. Our analysis suggests that pharmacogenomics will likely be cost-effective only for certain combinations of disease, drug, gene, and test characteristics, and that the cost-effectiveness of pharmacogenomic-based therapies needs to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Cost-effectiveness analysis can help scientists, clinicians, and decision makers invest in technologies and develop drug utilization guidelines that will benefit patients in an economically viable fashion.


  • pharmacogenomics;
  • pharmacogenetics;
  • economics;
  • cost;
  • cost-effectiveness;
  • outcomes research