Description: Over the past few years, the field of medicine has seen much innovation. One such innovation comes with the science of understanding which medicine suits you based on your genes. Understand the importance that pharmacogenomics holds in the day and age today.
“Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability”
— William Osler.
For the longest time that we remember, the cure for any discomfort, however mild or severe, has come with medicines. If we think of it, medications seem to treat any pain that people experience from time to time. But, for all those times when we popped in medicines, did we ever stop to think just how much and to what degree do medications affect us?
For all those of you who have ever asked yourself this question, the answers are now available through the field of pharmacogenomics. Pharmacogenomics is the field that originates with the combination of two different areas, namely pharmacology and genomics. In layman terms, pharmacogenomics refers to understanding how the difference in the genes causes the changes in the way medicines react.
When it comes to the role of clinicians, pharmacogenomics gives them a clear insight into the optimum usage of medicines in a way that all side effects are contained. It is imperative to understand which medication to use so that the positive impact is visible without any underlying side effects. With the help of pharmacogenomics, one can lower the consequences that may be visible due to the overuse of a particular medication.
With people taking medicines for almost every infection or illness, there have been severe side effects and adverse reactions to a particular prescribed drug. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the year 1994 had seen 2.2 million severe cases and around 100,000 deaths due to adverse drug reactions.
Based on this study, it is simple to understand that many of these deaths could have been avoided if the physicians and doctors had prior knowledge of a patient’s genetic profile, determining how a person would react to a drug. The biggest issue that the pharmaceutical companies see is that they develop drugs using a one size fits all concept.
With the help of the advanced field of pharmacogenomics in place, it is easy to eliminate all the risks of side effects that a medicine may have on a person. Concentrating and focusing on the basics of a person’s genomic make can help eliminate several concerns like;
- Percentage of people showing adverse drug reactions
- Decrease in the number of failed drug trials
- The time is taken to get approval for a specific drug
- The duration of time people need to take medication
The main criteria of investing in pharmacogenomics are because the future of the medical industry is one where every drug manufactured is safe for use and gives the most optimum results. Based on the pharmacogenomics findings, the pharma companies will create medicines based on the protein, enzymes and RNA molecules associated with the genes and specific diseases. Medicines manufactured keeping this in mind will be more powerful and will have a better impact.
The other reason why pharmacogenomics is essential is that instead of relying on trial and error methods in which patients are subjected to various drug trials before finding the right one, doctors will analyse a patient’s genetic profile in depth. Doing this will give them a better understanding of giving them the right medicine initially itself.
The current prescription procedure prescribes medicines to people based on their weight and age. With the knowledge of a person’s genetic makeup, the quantity of medication to be taken will be specified based on an individual’s genetics only.
One of the other significant pluses of pharmacogenomics is that based on the results you find after the genetics test, a person can make the necessary changes to their lifestyle and diet to slow down or reduce the severity of a genetic disease that has been identified.
Pioneering the field of pharmacogenomics is K&H, a clinic based in India. The doctors at K&H have understood the importance that pharmacogenomics holds as a field and since then have invested a lot of time and excellence in mastering it. Since the ways in which pharmacogenomics can benefit the way healthcare providers provide care, it is understandable that K&H is taking one step at a time to make more technological advances in this field. These are some of the significant reasons why pharmacogenomics is crucial. It will help change the face of the healthcare and pharmaceutical companies by giving them the ability to develop better and effective drugs.