For most common diseases there are a number of medications from which to select therapy. In addition, there is usually large individual variability in response to any given drug, ranging from no response to disease resolution. The same is true for drug related toxicities, where a given medication dose can be well tolerated by some patients and associated with morbidity or mortality in others.
Clearly, the current regime of one dose fits all is not ideal for all patients and is not cost effective for healthcare systems. There is also the issue of under-representation of many countries in the development of medicines. Variation in DNA does help explain some of the differences in a persons response to a medication, but the cost of individual genetic testing will be prohibitive for many countries for the foreseeable future. Therefore, we have developed innovative strategies for Health Bodies to integrate pharmacogenetics into public health decision making without placing an extra burden on sparse healthcare funds.