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In the 1970s, NIH research gave us genetic engineering and launched what is today the $100 billion biotechnology industry, a major source of high-paying U.S. jobs. Virtually every biomedical research lab and pharmaceutical company uses the power of the genomic revolution every day to demystify diseases and search for new cures. Companies today can read the entire DNA sequence of an individual for less than $1,000, and the cost is dropping quickly. This ability to study massive amounts of DNA has helped the field of pharmacogenomics mature rapidly. In this area of science, researchers match DNA patterns in individuals with how they respond to medications. The goal is to move away from one-size-fits-all dosing – because we now know that many factors aside from sex, age, and body size influence how our bodies react, or don’t, to many drugs. Research results in this important area of biomedicine have prompted FDA to include pharmacogenomic information in drug labeling, toward more precise and safer drug responses for patients. A significant goal of precision medicine is to implement this strategy broadly in medical care – focusing on the right drug at the right dose at the right time for the right patient.
This page last reviewed on February 11, 2020