Pharmacogenetics: ethical issues


Published 22/09/2003

Pharmaco cover
Research in pharmacogenetics investigates how differences in our genes can affect our response to medicines.
Blood tests

Public Consultation

The Council would like to thank everyone who contributed to the consultation on pharmacogenetics. The responses reflected diverse views and provided useful and interesting information.

Download the consultation paper.

The consultation posed questions such as:

  • Will the applications of pharmacogenetics increase inequalities in the provision of healthcare?
  • What are the implications of finding a genetic variant that influences the response to a medicine in a particular racial or ethnic group?
  • Should a GP be responsible for providing a pharmacogenetic test or should tests be available directly to patients over the counter?

Fact-finding Meetings

The Working Party held a number of fact-finding meetings with individuals and organisations as part of its research:

  • Dr Rashmi Shah, Medicines Control Agency
  • Professor Alastair Bellingham, NHS Information Authority
  • Professor David Goldstein, Wolfson Professor of Genetics, University College London
  • Dr Virginia Warren, Assistant Medical Director, BUPA
  • Dr Kevin Cheeseman, Director of Development Pharmacogenetics, AstraZeneca
  • Dr Philip Wright, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Mr John Wilkinson, Partner and Joint Head of the Life Sciences Group, Bird and Bird
  • Professor Jonathan Montgomery, Professor of Health Care Law, University of Southampton