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Researchers at UH explore patient preferences for personalized medicine
Date:10/30/2008

ions, such as carrier identification, inherited risk prediction and drug-response assessment.

The UH research team aims to identify what types of trade-offs patients are willing to make when opting for pharmacogenomic testing, which uses genomic information to determine whether a drug is likely to cause beneficial or negative reactions. For instance, Issa said, patients considering pharmacogenomic testing must weigh out such things as the cost of the procedure and whether or not they want their genetic information on file with their insurance companies.

"As a field, personalized medicine includes diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, with risk defined through genetics as well as environmental factors," said Issa. "We believe it is important to quantify the attributes and trade-offs that patients encounter in order to predict demand and utilization of these emerging applications so that better health policies can be developed to maximize benefits and minimize risks."

The team expects its findings will lead to a better understanding of what technologies are currently in use, how they are incorporated into medical practice, which populations have access to them, and how the patient decision-making process works.

Yuen-Sum "Vincent" Lau, chair of the College of Pharmacy's pharmacological and pharmaceutical sciences department, emphasized that "Dr. Issa and her team are conducting a cutting-edge translational research, which will make the findings from basic and clinical research applicable to real medical practices and lead to better health-care delivery in the future."

The award announced last week by the Institute for Health Technology Studies (InHealth) was part of a $1.7 million package in grants for scientists examining the economic and social impacts of diagnostic and therapeutic medical devices on treating diseases and chronic medical conditions. InHealth gathers evidence about the contributions of technology to
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Contact: Angela Hopp
713-743-8153
University of Houston
Source:Eurekalert

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