LONDON, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The pharmaceutical industry is currently facing some key challenges. The increase in drug development costs, a decrease in the number of drugs being approved, and scrutiny from regulatory authorities are forcing companies to look at alternative revenue generators. Patients themselves are also demanding more effective and safer drugs.
Pharmacogenomics therefore presents a convincing alternative to guide drug development and therapy. Pharmacogenomics deals with the influence of genetic variations on drug response in patients by correlating gene expression with a drug's efficacy. Personalised medicine is the result of individualised pharmacotherapy, which allows the formulation of drugs that offer appropriate treatment to the right person as needed.
"Recent reports of mishaps taking place due to improper drug metabolism, even when taken at optimal dose, have forced companies to consider individualised medicine more of a necessity than a mere research project," notes Frost & Sullivan (http://www.drugdiscovery.frost.com) Research Analyst Prabakar Sampath. "Every year several hundreds of patients either do not benefit from the treatment they are provided or develop adverse reactions to it. These are compelling reasons enough to pursue personalised medicine as a future directive."
Critics of personalised medicine often suggest that interest in research for a given pharmacogenomics study would decrease because it would only serve a niche market. They contend that a personalised approach would reduce new patient trials for some therapies.
However, a reduction in initial sales will be compensated by greater compliance, leading to higher product use. Frost & Sullivan believes that the commercial feasibility of personalised medicine is not what is gained or lost by moving forward, but what is at stake by not moving forward.
"The desire to meet patients' unmet medical needs, the necessity for product differentiation to gain market share and reimbursement in increasingly crowded markets in several therapeutic areas are forcing companies to invest in pharmacogenomics research," notes Sampath.
Already, genetic testing has been made easy with the increase in availability of reagents and pharmacogenetics services. Diagnostic laboratories are marketing pharmacogenomics services to physicians and in some cases, patients too.
"An ideal application of pharmacogenomics is to integrate it into clinical and nonclinical studies in order to provide value to pharmaceutical R&D by supplementing the information from these studies," says Sampath. "The goal is to provide safer and more efficient medicines, combined with diagnostics, in order to meet the needs of patients."
Pharmacogenomics provides a novel area for product differentiation, competitive advantage, and enhancement of R&D productivity. The pharmaceutical industry is learning how to best apply it in its R&D programs.
Recent initiatives, such as the formation of several pharmacogenomics-focused consortia, new regulatory guidance documents, the introduction of legislative bills and high-profile safety concerns continue to illustrate the prominent role pharmacogenomics will play in moving drug development and therapy from a population-based to an individualized paradigm.
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|SOURCE Frost & Sullivan|
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