Pharmacogenetics: Ethical issues and policy options

Allen Buchanan, Andrea Califano, Jeffrey Kahn, Elizabeth McPherson, John Robertson, Baruch Brody

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Pharmacogenetics offers the prospect of an era of safer and more effective drugs, as well as more individualized use of drug therapies. Before the benefits of pharmacogenetics can be realized, the ethical issues that arise in research and clinical application of pharmacogenetic technologies must be addressed. The ethical issues raised by pharmacogenetics can be addressed under six headings: (1) regulatory oversight, (2) confidentiality and privacy, (3) informed consent, (4) availability of drugs, (5) access, and (6) clinicians’ changing responsibilities in the era of pharmacogenetic medicine. We analyze each of these categories of ethical issues and provide policy approaches for addressing them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGenetics and Gene Therapy
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781351934282
ISBN (Print)9780754620556
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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