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ISRN Pharmacology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 641089, 17 pages
Review Article

Scientific Challenges and Implementation Barriers to Translation of Pharmacogenomics in Clinical Practice

Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900, USA

Received 14 January 2013; Accepted 4 February 2013

Academic Editors: H. Cerecetto, R. Fantozzi, G. Gervasini, T. Irie, F. J. Miranda, and R. Villalobos-Molina

Copyright © 2013 Y. W. Francis Lam. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The mapping of the human genome and subsequent advancements in genetic technology had provided clinicians and scientists an understanding of the genetic basis of altered drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, as well as some examples of applying genomic data in clinical practice. This has raised the public expectation that predicting patients’ responses to drug therapy is now possible in every therapeutic area, and personalized drug therapy would come sooner than later. However, debate continues among most stakeholders involved in drug development and clinical decision-making on whether pharmacogenomic biomarkers should be used in patient assessment, as well as when and in whom to use the biomarker-based diagnostic tests. Currently, most would agree that achieving the goal of personalized therapy remains years, if not decades, away. Realistic application of genomic findings and technologies in clinical practice and drug development require addressing multiple logistics and challenges that go beyond discovery of gene variants and/or completion of prospective controlled clinical trials. The goal of personalized medicine can only be achieved when all stakeholders in the field work together, with willingness to accept occasional paradigm change in their current approach.