Preemptive pharmacogenomics testing gives clinicians the ability to improve patient care by predicting the response to a given drug and managing the dose and total exposure to a drug.  This increases safety and efficacy while reducing side effects, which results in reduced costs for the learning healthcare system.  Despite nearly two decades of research, though, major hurdles remain with respect to implementing pharmacogenomics practices.

The evidence of clinical validity and utility for a given genotype can be sparse, and clinicians are often reluctant to accept pharmacogenomics testing results.  Furthermore, administrators and payors wonder about cost effectiveness.  These are obstacles associated with integrating pharmacogenomics into the clinical practice.

Between 7,000–9,000 patients die each year due to medication errors in the United States, and countless patients experience unreported adverse side effects.  These issues cost the health care system more than $40B per year.

Led by Professor Philip E. Empey, PharmD, PhD, IPM Associate Director for Pharmacogenomics, the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy Pharmacogenomics Center of Excellence aims to address these issues and implement pharmacogenomics practices throughout the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC via sensible and effective evidence-based approaches.