Healthcare: Pharmacologists Put Focus On Patient-Centered Medicine

ACCP collaborates with other organizations to educate the medical community about how patients’ genetic makeup affects which drugs should be used in treating them.

Healthcare • American College of Clinical Pharmacology

You might assume that when sick people go to the doctor for the same problem, they receive the same treatment. However, pharmacologists know that bodies with the same ailments may react differently to treatments based on their genetics, meaning they need different solutions.

Many of us have unique things about our genetics that might make us react well or not react well [to drugs].

“Clinical pharmacology is how humans metabolize drugs and how we can use them optimally,” says Krista Levy, executive director of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology. “Many of us have unique things about our genetics that might make us react well or not react well [to drugs]. One patient who appears to be similar to another will react well and others won’t. It’s really about their genetic background.”

ACCP wants to help patients get the best treatments for their genetic makeup. Levy says there are seven broad genetic makeups that roughly correspond to geography. “What we see is a drug might be brought to the market in the U.S. based on what that genetic background will handle,” Levy says. “If you want to introduce it in China or Japan, you have to test it for that background.”

ACCP is collaborating with other organizations to help educate prescribers about the genetic differences in patients and how those differences affect which pharmaceuticals should be used in treatment. The organization is working to advance medicine to the point where there is no universal best treatment, but rather a best treatment for each patient.

“We are really focused on bringing good medicine to market,” Levy says.

(shironosov/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Rasheeda Childress

By Rasheeda Childress

Rasheeda Childress is a former editor at Associations Now. MORE

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