Genomics, proteomics and metabolomics are three areas that are routinely applied throughout the drug-development process as well as after a product enters the market. This review discusses all three 'omics, reporting on the key applications, techniques, recent advances and expectations of each. Genomics, mainly through the use of novel and next-generation sequencing techniques, has advanced areas of drug discovery and development through the comparative assessment of normal and diseased-state tissues, transcription and/or expression profiling, side-effect profiling, pharmacogenomics and the identification of biomarkers. Proteomics, through techniques including isotope coded affinity tags, stable isotopic labeling by amino acids in cell culture, isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification, multidirectional protein identification technology, activity-based probes, protein/peptide arrays, phage displays and two-hybrid systems is utilized in multiple areas through the drug development pipeline including target and lead identification, compound optimization, throughout the clinical trials process and after market analysis. Metabolomics, although the most recent and least developed of the three 'omics considered in this review, provides a significant contribution to drug development through systems biology approaches. Already implemented to some degree in the drug-discovery industry and used in applications spanning target identification through to toxicological analysis, metabolic network understanding is essential in generating future discoveries.