Pharmacogenomics: Ethical and regulatory issues

In Bonnie Steinbock (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Bioethics. Oxford University Press (2009)
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Abstract

While acknowledging the potential benefits of pharmacogenomics as a methodology, a number of comprehensive reports in the past several years examine a multitude of ethical, legal, and social factors that may limit the extent to which these benefits are realized — and realized in ethically acceptable ways. This article aims to identify and explore the most basic ethical and regulatory issues that are likely to arise if pharmacogenomics becomes widely enough used to have a significant impact on research and clinical practice. First, however, it addresses the question of whether pharmacogenomic tests are unique when compared to other genetic tests and thus deserving of more or less stringent ethical and regulatory requirements.

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Allen Buchanan
University of Arizona

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