Promoting the Just and Equitable Use of Pharmacogenetic Medicines

As discussed previously, the status of pharmacogenetic information is still being debated. However, it is clear that in some circumstances it raises many of the social and ethical issues associated with the use of diagnostic and presymptomatic genetic testing. The introduction of a robust regulatory framework to control the general use of genetic testing will be a prerequisite for the widespread use of pharmacogenetic technology in clinical practice. Moreover, pharmacogenetics raises a series of other social and ethical issues concerning access to care and discrimination, including: unfair participation in clinical trials; the stigmatization of "nonresponders" and its impact on other family members; the risk of discrimination in insurance and employment; exclusion from therapy and the creation of new orphan patient populations; access problems caused by the potentially high cost of phar-macogenetic-based treatment, especially in developing countries; and discrimination based on the unscientific use of ethnic and racial categories. In order to protect patients, their families, and the disadvantaged social groups, policies will need to be developed to promote equitable access to the technology. Antidiscrimination legislation may be required to prevent the misuse of personal genetic data and the stigmatization of particular groups. Public investment or incentives to the private sector might be required to prevent the creation of orphan patient groups. Finally, studies of the cost-effectiveness and cost-benefits of new medicines may also be required to ensure the fair pricing of pharmaco-genetic products, which offers benefits to industry, providers, and patients.

The translation of pharmacogenetic research into clinical practice is likely to be technically demanding, slow, and expensive (25). At the same time it raises many ethical, social, and legal issues. These will need to be carefully considered by researchers, industry, and health care providers if the real promise of the technology to improve the discovery, development, and use of medicines is to be fully realized while maintaining public confidence in genetic technologies. This is a rapidly evolving situation and the critical use of the ethical principles outlined at the beginning of this chapter should help readers to formulate responses to the new challenges that will undoubtedly emerge in the years ahead.

Cure Your Yeast Infection For Good

Cure Your Yeast Infection For Good

The term vaginitis is one that is applied to any inflammation or infection of the vagina, and there are many different conditions that are categorized together under this ‘broad’ heading, including bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis and non-infectious vaginitis.

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