Personalized Medicine and the Law
Arizona Attorney, Vol. 44, No. 12, October 2007
7 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2009
Date Written: 2007
It may be an understatement to suggest that health care in the United States is in a state of flux. Whether one looks at the science, the policy, the ethics or the business of medicine, Americans are witnessing changes like they never have in the past. Though many of these trends are affected by the vast numbers of people needing ever-increasing modes of treatment, one trend heads in the other direction: toward a focus on the needs of the individual. We are on the verge of a fundamental transformation from the “one size fits all” approach of the past to what may be called “personalized medicine”. In this approach, pharmaceuticals and other treatments are tailored to an individual’s genetic profile. This rapid change under way in the practice of medicine will have profound significance and implications for the practice of law. In a few important ways, Arizona is poised to be at the forefront of this paradigm shift to personalized medicine in both its medical and legal contexts. Arizona is also at the forefront in training the professionals who will be needed to implement the new paradigm of PM. The new Phoenix medical school will include an innovative teaching module in PM. The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy is pioneering a clinical pharmacogenomics program. And ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law recently launched the world’s first LLM degree program for lawyers that specifically focuses on legal aspects of genomics and biotechnology, of which PM is a major emphasis.
Keywords: Personalized medicine, genetics, biotechnology
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