Personalised Medicine: Cure or Quandary?9 May 2006 19.00 - 20.30 The Dana Centre, 165 Queen’s Gate, London SW7 5HE Nearest tubes: South Kensington or Gloucester Road

Imagine being prescribed ‘personalised’ medicines, specific to your genetic makeup.  Would this mean safer, more effective treatment, or could it result in a host of ethical problems when your DNA is scanned?

*********************************************************** Personalised medicines – or ‘pharmacogenetics’ involves looking at how a person’s genetic makeup affects their response to medicines. The idea is that a simple blood test could show if a particular person is suited to a particular drug. It should be possible to work out what time of day a drug should be taken for it to work most effectively. This would mean a whole new approach to treatment: the right medicine for the right person at the right dose. It sounds sensible, if futuristic, but personalised medicines are not without complications and may not be that far away.

The potential in this field is huge, but, as with any new technology, we must be aware of consequences. Large-scale genetic tests could offer us safer, better drugs, but who should have access to the information these tests provide? If a blood test reveals that a cancer sufferer will not respond to the best drug on the market, would their chances of survival be uncertain? Should their insurers know? Will drug companies develop medicines that may benefit only a few people?  Is the NHS ready for personalised medicines and can it afford them?

Join us to discuss the implications of personalised medicines. Will they usher in a new era of better healthcare, or simply bring higher costs and more ethical problems? Our speakers will help you decide.

Speakers Chairman - Clive Page, King’s College London

Jim Ritter, King’s College London Rob Kerwin, Institute of Psychiatry Katharina Wulff, Imperial College Nikolas Rose, London School of Economics   Event organised by The European Dana Alliance for the Brain and the British Pharmacological Society

Booking info This event is free but places must be booked by calling 020 7942 4040 or by e-mailing