Personalized medicine: What does it mean to you?

For many, "personalized medicine" is the product of compounding a specific medication into a dosage form and strength that meets a specific patient's needs. For a growing number of folks, however, the term is being applied to the application of pharmacogenomics knowledge to drug therapy. With a genetic profile, we can predict a growing number of predispositions to diseases as well as predictable responses to certain medications.

In my December editorial in Pharmacy Today, I reflected on how understanding and management of drug interactions became the purview of pharmacists in the early 1970s. As we enter a new decade, it is clear to me that pharmacists have an opportunity to "own" responsiblity for integrating patient care and knowledge with this growing body of information about the genetics of drug response and predisposition to disease.

Can you see yourself in this role? What do you need to get there? I'd love to hear from you—share your impressions of the pharmacist's role in genomics and personalized medicine by replying to this posting.