Immunologically mediated drug reactions have been traditionally classified as unpredictable based on the fact that they cannot be predicted strictly on the pharmacological action of the drug. Such adverse drug reactions are associated with considerable morbidity and include severe cutaneous adverse reactions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis and the drug hypersensitivity syndromes (drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms/drug-induced hypersensitivity syndrome). Over the last decade there have been many associations between these syndromes and Class I and II HLA alleles of the MHC, which have enriched and driven our knowledge of their immunopathogenesis. Significant translation has also occurred in the case of HLA-B*5701 screening being used to exclude at risk patients from abacavir and prevent abacavir hypersensitivity. The ultimate translation of the knowledge of how drugs interact with HLA would be applicable to preclinical drug screening programs to improve the safety and cost-effectiveness of drug design and development.