Pharmacology, Toxicology and Biomedical Reports,2016,2,1,11-14.
The art of predicting the results of any drug treatment has always been a topic of interest among the scientific community across the globe. Many diseases have been attributed to gene defects, giving rise to a whole new field of pharmacogenomics within the domain of clinical pharmacology. Stratified medicine is the science of associating such diseases with genetic defects and predicting the efficacy or toxicity of a particular drug treatment. Advancements in this field have given hope to many patients suffering from malignancies and other diseases. For the clinicians, it provides guidance to effective management as opposed to the “shooting in the dark” approach with empirical regimens. Stratified medicine has led to increased interaction between the pharmaceutical industry and the diagnostics industry, giving rise to the concept of codevelopement of drugs and diagnostics. This in turn has paved the way for better clinical trials and more cost effective drug development, thus bringing about far reaching changes in the pharmacoeconomics related to drug development. The article provides an overview of how stratified medicine got evolved and its current and future clinical implications. It also explains how “companion diagnostics” play a crucial role in the success of stratified medicine along with its complex economics, pricing and reimbursement issues.