The National Health Policy Forum announces the availability of a new background paper: Pharmacogenomics: A Primer for Policymakers.

Researchers are exploring how genetic variations among individuals may help explain why a drug can work well in some people and poorly (or not at all) in others, including those who appear to have the same disease. Pharmacogenomics, as this new field is called, aims to help physicians make use of genetic tests to distinguish among patients whose genetic characteristics predispose them to respond in certain ways to certain medicines. If physicians can use this information to quickly and reliably choose the appropriate drug at the most effective dose for each patient, they may produce better patient outcomes and save health care dollars.


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