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As personalized, genomic medicine takes off, four developing countries show the way for others
Date:9/19/2008

Developing countries that want the benefits of cutting-edge health care possibilities based on the genetic variation of individual citizens and sub-populations need to foster the new science at home, says a major new Canadian study published today by Nature Publishing Group.

In a special six-paper supplement of the journal Nature Reviews Genetics (NRG), researchers from the McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health (MRC), Toronto, say four countries with emerging economies -- Mexico, India, Thailand and South Africa -- are showing the way for others in similar economic circumstances.

The study details how those four countries are actively establishing domestic capacity in genomic medicine efforts that will improve national health, slash medical costs through better resource allocation, and bolster their economies.

The two-year study was undertaken by Dr. Batrice Sguin, Billie-Jo Hardy, Dr. Peter A. Singer and Prof. Abdallah S. Daar of the MRC, part of Toronto's University Health Network and the University of Toronto.

Says project leader Dr. Sguin, who is also assistant professor at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy: "Developing countries have much to gain from genomic medicine and can least afford to waste precious resources on ineffective therapies and diagnostics."

"Benefits of this emerging science cannot be an exclusive luxury reserved for wealthier industrialized countries," she says. "Instead, it must be universally advanced by developed and developing countries alike to prevent an increased widening of already huge difference in global health care quality."

Says Prof. Daar, the project's principal investigator, a professor of public health sciences at the University of Toronto and co-director of the MRC's Program on Life Sciences, Ethics and Policy: "The world has reached an historic moment on the path to genomic medicine the point where theory is about to be translated into practic
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Contact: Terry Collins
terrycollins@rogers.com
416-538-8712
Program on Life Sciences, Ethics and Policy,McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health
Source:Eurekalert  

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