Applying an equity lens to pharmacogenetic research and translation to under-represented populations

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5 Scopus citations


Since the publication of the Human Genome Project, genetic information has been used as an accepted, evidence-based biomarker to optimize patient care through the delivery of precision health. Pharmacogenetics (PGx) uses information about genes that encode proteins involved in pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and hypersensitivity reactions to guide clinical decision making to optimize medication therapy selection. Clinical PGx implementation is growing from the dramatic increase in PGx studies over the last decade. However, an overwhelming lack of genetic diversity in current PGx studies is evident. This lack of diverse representation in PGx studies will impede equitable clinical implementation through potentially inappropriate application of gene-based dosing algorithms, whereas representing a missed opportunity for identification of population specific single nucleotide variants and alleles. In this review, we discuss the challenges of studying PGx in under-represented populations, highlight two successful PGx studies conducted in non-European populations, and propose a path forward through community-based participatory research for equitable PGx research and clinical translation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2117-2123
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and translational science
Issue number6
Early online dateJul 16 2021
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
No funding was received for this work. The authors would like to thank Dr. Olihe Okoro, PhD, MPH, MPharm, for her review of this manuscript and expertise and feedback on community based participatory research and social determinants of health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Clinical and Translational Science published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics


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