Ethik in der Medizin 14 (1):3-10 (2002)

Ulrich Meyer
Colgate University
Definition of the problem: Recent progress in the pharmacological sciences provides a first glimpse of the development of an individual, genotype-based drug therapy in order to improve the efficiency of drug utilization. Genotyping of genetic polymorphisms in genes involved in drug response promises to optimize drug therapy fundamentally by identifying patients for whom a pharmaceutical agent may be effective and safe or contraindicated because of expected adverse drug reactions. Arguments: The new pharmacogenomic treatment strategies raise complex bioethical issues, because genetic screening for drug therapy may identify asymptomatic patients who are at risk for a particular adverse outcome. Thus, pharmacogenomics will affect the relationship between the treating physician and the patient which is traditionally based on privacy, confidentiality, beneficience and non-maleficience. Conclusion: In the article presented some ethical aspects of these new pharmacogenomic approaches concerning the physician-patient relationship are discussed
Keywords Keywords: Pharmacogenomics – Individual drug treatment – Risk-benefit assessment  Schlüsselwörter: Pharmacogenomik – Individuelle Arzneimitteltherapie – Nutzen-Risiko-Abwägung
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DOI 10.1007/s00481-002-0157-6
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