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Ángel Carracedo: ''Only 50% of First-Line Drugs are Effective''

Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013
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The Professor of Legal Medicine and director of the Genomic Medicine lab at the University of Santiago de Compostela, talked of the future challenges of the field of pharmacogenetics in the clinic.

Currently only 50% of first-line drugs are effective and adverse effects of drugs are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and the eighth in Europe. According to Angel Carracedo "two individuals do not respond equal to a drug in health conditions, let alone in terms of disease. One of the factors that determine this response is genetics."

Knowing patient's genetics could allow administer only appropriate medications and save the patient from adverse effects of those drugs which wouldn't be effective. In fact, as explained Carracedo, the FDA and the EMEA (the drug regulatory agencies in the U.S. and Europe respectively) have made several recommendations in the data sheet of various drugs, especially in chemotherapy, so that it is mandatory genetic testing before prescribing them. However Carracedo has warned that "not all clinicians get this information and it is not always used properly."

"We must keep working," said Carracedo "in validating new biomarkers with an acceptable cost/effectiveness and find ways of implementing pharmacogenetics in the most efficient way in clinical practice."


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