A roadmap to achieve pharmacological precision medicine in diabetes

Jose C. Florez (Lead / Corresponding author), Ewan R. Pearson (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


Current pharmacological treatment of diabetes is largely algorithmic. Other than for cardiovascular disease or renal disease, where sodium–glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors and/or glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists are indicated, the choice of treatment is based upon overall risks of harm or side effect and cost, and not on probable benefit. Here we argue that a more precise approach to treatment choice is necessary to maximise benefit and minimise harm from existing diabetes therapies. We propose a roadmap to achieve precision medicine as standard of care, to discuss current progress in relation to monogenic diabetes and type 2 diabetes, and to determine what additional work is required. The first step is to identify robust and reliable genetic predictors of response, recognising that genotype is static over time and provides the skeleton upon which modifiers such as clinical phenotype and metabolic biomarkers can be overlaid. The second step is to identify these metabolic biomarkers (e.g. beta cell function, insulin sensitivity, BMI, liver fat, metabolite profile), which capture the metabolic state at the point of prescribing and may have a large impact on drug response. Third, we need to show that predictions that utilise these genetic and metabolic biomarkers improve therapeutic outcomes for patients, and fourth, that this is cost-effective. Finally, these biomarkers and prediction models need to be embedded in clinical care systems to enable effective and equitable clinical implementation. Whilst this roadmap is largely complete for monogenic diabetes, we still have considerable work to do to implement this for type 2 diabetes. Increasing collaborations, including with industry, and access to clinical trial data should enable progress to implementation of precision treatment in type 2 diabetes in the near future. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1830-1838
Number of pages9
Issue number11
Early online date24 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Biomarker
  • Diabetes
  • Genetic
  • Monogenic
  • Personalised medicine
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Pharmacological
  • Precision medicine
  • Review
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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