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With the advent in next-generation sequencing and availability of low cost genome sequencers, more information is available in regards to specific variations in genes. 2018 could see a rapid progress in filling the gaps that exist between bringing genomics and drug response into the same equation. Personal genome sequencers can be used to identify pharmacogenetic markers in an individual and this information can be used to determine what drugs will work best on that person.

As scientists identify more drugs with known gene variants that control the way a person responds to the drug, it opens a new frontier to personalized medicine and individual treatment plans. The result is further control over the side effects of drugs in patients and thereby better effectiveness of the overall treatment plan. Doctors will be able to provide the right dose of the right medication based on a person’s genome.

Advancement in clinical pharmacogenomics could result in the availability of more drugs with pharmacogenomics effects on the label. Currently, the United States Food and Drug Administration provides around 200 medications with pharmacogenomics information on the labels. Information on genotype-specific dosage and possible adverse effects on people with certain gene variants can help doctors determine more accurate prescriptions.

More research is needed in identifying new genetic variations and their interactions with medications. An expanded database of gene variants and their response to various drug components could be a highly valuable resource. Moreover, doctors and patients need easy access to genetic tests to find out how a person’s body will react to a certain medication. This requires proper guidelines on interpreting the results of genetic testing as well as more resources that help implement this in routine prescription.

Integration of pharmacogenomics in routine health care will need a lot of further research, but 2018 could mark the beginning of a more systematic approach towards design and development of new medicines based on genomics.