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Biotech Medicine Science

The Best Medications For Your Genes 75

blackbearnh writes "Until recently, physicians prescribed drugs to patients with dosages based only on weight, and with no idea if the drug would be effective for that particular person. But as this article on highlights, the same advances in genomics that are letting people know about their likelihood of getting certain diseases can also let doctors know what drugs, and what dosages, will be likely to do the most good. 'Tamoxifen, the much-heralded cancer-fighting drug, has been shown to have little benefit for 7% to 10% of patients taking it. In the past, we would have just said that it works 90% of the time. But now, with our new genomic knowledge under our belt, we can say that it works nearly 100% of the time for people with the 'right' version of the CYP2D6 gene, and 0% of the time for people with the 'wrong' version, who make up roughly 7% to 10% of the population.'"
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The Best Medications For Your Genes

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  • placebo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @04:12AM (#29894203) Journal
    How about placebos? I suspect they might work much better on some people than others.
  • Re:next up.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cjfs ( 1253208 ) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @04:13AM (#29894211) Homepage Journal

    It's not hard to imagine a future in which patients entering an emergency room will have a CD disc with their entire genome tucked in their wallets or on file with a national database. Before any drugs are administered, dosages will be adjusted based on the patient's genomic profile.

    And that same genomic profile will determine if they can get coverage in the first place. Think of the cost reductions this new streamlined process will bring!

    I mean, we just need this national database to better serve you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @06:17AM (#29894695)

    My pharmacogenetics Prof. (yes, its not that new a field)explained it like this:

    They had conducted a study which hinted that a whopping 40% of a population showed a genetic variety which renders a particular pharmaceutic more effective at treating a condition than any other. they contacted the manufacturer and asked them if they were interested in conducting a prospective study.
    well, they weren't. and why? because 40% of the population is not good enough, they want their product to be prescribed to every single patient, regardless of the facts.

  • Re:next up.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nadaka ( 224565 ) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:10AM (#29896749)

    Actually, its already here.

    The "The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007" signed by Bush allows the government to collect, store, test and experiment on the genetic material of every newborn in America without the knowledge or consent of the parents.

  • Cuustom Meds (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pedrito ( 94783 ) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @11:49AM (#29898247)
    Where this will really come into its own is, down the road, where custom medications will be created specifically for your genetic profile. That is, they'll create a custom drug that fixes your problem but won't cause side-effects. This isn't tomorrow or 5 or 10 years from now, but more like 30-40 years from now. Creating a custom drug in a lab right now would be a major ordeal and very expensive, but with advances in biochemical modeling and automation, this can be overcome. By analyzing the genes, however, a custom drug can be developed that, not only works with your individual version of whatever proteins might be involved, but it can also be modeled against other genes/proteins to avoid potential side-effects, providing efficacious and side-effect free medication.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson