Adverse drug reactions

I wrote awhile ago about idiosyncratic reactions and the challenge they pose to drug researchers. Perhaps one of the biggest challenges which is some ways might be considered a blessing is that, thanks to extensive pre-clinical testing and rigid regulatory standards, the number of incidences of adverse drug reactions is very low making it difficult to develop a sufficient body of data to determine the mechanism of the reaction. However, at this point in time, we have methods for investigating the genetic profile of patients and thus the potential exists to correlate adverse reactions with a genetic signature, but only if we have enough patients to work with.

A commentary in the April 26th issue of Nature describes a potential solution to the problem of lack of data….increasing the rate of adverse event reporting and pooling the data in a global database.

And now for something completely different…..

For anyone out there who teaches first year organic chemistry…the discussion by Euripides G. Stephanou of the paper published by Williams et al., which describes the chiral make-up of compounds released from forests into the atmosphere might make an interesting side bar example when the subject of stereoisomers is introduced.

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