any objective criteria, the United States healthcare system
is broken. Drug companies face pressures and threats to
their business model and practices, providers are perceived
as puppets of either the drug industry or the managed care
industry, payers find it nearly impossible to balance patient
concerns of low quality care with shareholder concerns of
higher profits, regulatory agencies are blamed for unsafe
drugs, and patients are fed up with high prices and inadequate
solution that could potentially address many of these problems
is to move towards a pharmacogenomics model of healthcare,
where scientists use their knowledge of individual genetic
variations to create safer and more effective therapies.
This vision of a new era in personalized medicine has existed
for many years, but the pressures facing the healthcare
system make this solution increasingly attractive as an
alternative to the existing “blockbuster” model.
Moreover, recent advances in genetics and diagnostics have
finally made the technology viable for the first time.
paper will attempt to answer several related questions.
First, what is pharmacogenomics and what does this model
have to offer each of the key players in the healthcare
system? Second, what challenges remain for pharmacogenomics
to become a viable part of our healthcare system? Finally,
what companies are taking the initial steps towards realizing
the promise of pharmacogenomics and how it could alter the
future of the pharmaceutical industry.