The study reported by Kapoor et al in this month’s European Journal of Human Genetics explains the dichotomy between the accelerated pace of discovery and the slow uptake of pharmacogenomics in standard clinical care through a SWOT analysis. A glass can be perceived as being half-full or half-empty. Although the authors predict many positive effects and applications of pharmacogenomics they also present a rather pessimistic view on the status and attitudes toward pharmacogenomics and its implementation in clinical care. However, we, like many others, foresee a much more optimistic future for both the impact of pharmacogenomics and its imminent implementation. Our optimism is based on the fact that many of the proposed weaknesses and threats are currently being addressed by various initiatives, both in the United States of America and in Europe, and that the presented hurdles preventing implementation such as lack of evidence regarding clinical utility, absence of guidelines within a clinical workflow and the necessity of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) innovations in pharmacogenomics are either being overcome or have already been surmounted.
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Van der Wouden CH, Swen JJ, Samwald M, Mitropoulou C, Schwab M, Guchelaar HJ. Eur J Hum Genet. 2016 Aug 31. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2016.116.