Pharmacogenomics Implementation and Hurdles to Overcome; In the Context of a Developing Country

Document Type : Research article


1 Department of Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmaceutical Administration, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran.

2 Medical Genomics Research Center, Tehran Medical Sciences Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Personalized Medicine Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinical Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran.

5 Department of Department of Industrial Management, Faculty of Management and Economics, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.



Having multiple dimensions, uncertainties and several stakeholders, the costly pharmacogenomics (PGx) is associated with dynamic implementation complexities. Identification of these challenges is critical to harness its full potential, especially in developing countries with fragile healthcare systems and scarce resources. This is the first study aimed to identify most salient challenges related to PGx implementation, with respect to the experiences of early-adopters and local experts’ prospects, in the context of a developing country in the Middle East. To perform a comprehensive reconnaissance on PGx adoption challenges a scoping literature review was conducted based on national drug policy components: efficacy/safety, access, affordability and rational use of medicine (RUM). Strategic option development and analysis workshop method with cognitive mapping as the technique was used to evaluate challenges in the context of Iran. The cognitive maps were face-validated and analyzed via Decision Explorer XML. The findings indicated a complex network of issues relative to PGx adoption, categorized in national drug policy indicators. In the rational use of medicine category, ethics, education, bench -to- bedside strategies, guidelines, compliance, and health system issues were found. Clinical trial issues, test's utility, and biomarker validation were identified in the efficacy group. Affordability included  pricing, reimbursement, and value assessment issues. Finally, access category included regulation, availability, and stakeholder management challenges. The current study identified the most significant challenges ahead of clinical implementation of PGx in a developing country. This could be the basis of a policy-note development in future work, which may consolidate vital communication among stakeholders and accelerate the efficient implementation in developing new-comer countries.

Graphical Abstract

Pharmacogenomics Implementation and Hurdles to Overcome; In the Context of a Developing Country


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