Pharma, FDA to study adverse events

When it comes to predicting who'll suffer severe drug side effects, seven heads are better than one. Such is the hope of a Big Pharma consortium formed to track down genetic risk factors for serious adverse events.

The group--which comprises Pfizer, Abbott Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis and Wyeth--will pool their data on Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal drug reaction, and liver toxicity. Both side effects occur infrequently, but can be caused by multiple drugs.

Theoretically, it's more evidence of the Brave New World of personalized pharma. But would every patient prescribed a potentially risky drug get the right genetic test? Or would sifting out the vulnerable patients have to wait until we're all carrying ID cards embedded with our personal DNA?

- check out this release for details on the program
- read the New York Times article

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