An Update to Returning Genetic Research Results to Individuals: Perspectives of the Industry Pharmacogenomics Working Group


  • Sandra K. Prucka,

    Corresponding author
    • Address for correspondence: Sandra K. Prucka, Eli Lilly and Company Tailored Therapeutics Genetics, Corporate Center, DC1522, Indianapolis, IN 46285-0001, USA. Email:

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  • Lester J. Arnold,

  • John E. Brandt,

  • Sandra Gilardi,

  • Lea C. Harty,

  • Feng Hong,

  • Joanne Malia,

  • David J. Pulford


The ease with which genotyping technologies generate tremendous amounts of data on research participants has been well chronicled, a feat that continues to become both faster and cheaper to perform. In parallel to these advances come additional ethical considerations and debates, one of which centers on providing individual research results and incidental findings back to research participants taking part in genetic research efforts. In 2006 the Industry Pharmacogenomics Working Group (I-PWG) offered some ‘Points-to-Consider’ on this topic within the context of the drug development process from those who are affiliated to pharmaceutical companies. Today many of these points remain applicable to the discussion but will be expanded upon in this updated viewpoint from the I-PWG. The exploratory nature of pharmacogenomic work in the pharmaceutical industry is discussed to provide context for why these results typically are not best suited for return. Operational challenges unique to this industry which cause barriers to returning this information are also explained.