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Commentary
July 20, 2011

Genetics and Variable Drug Response

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, and Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Oates Institute for Experimental Therapeutics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee (Dr Wilke); and Department of Medicine, Comprehensive Cancer Research Center, Committee on Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacogenomics, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (Dr Dolan).

JAMA. 2011;306(3):306-307. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.998

Annual health care expenditures currently exceed $2.5 trillion in the United States, a cost burden equivalent to more than $8000 per person per year. Treatment strategies designed to optimize efficacy, ie, avoiding therapeutic failure while minimizing toxicity, hold the potential to reduce this cost burden. For many drugs, variability in outcome is influenced by 1 or more genetic factors. Because many of these genetic factors have only recently been challenged with modern pharmaceuticals, variants of strong clinical relevance are often found at fairly high frequency within the general population.

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