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RPS: Pharmacy can impact delivery of genomics across healthcare

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Pharmacy professionals to be included as key stakeholders in the implementation, delivery and evaluation of a wide range of genomic services, said the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).

RPS’s statement has been developed in collaboration with pharmacy organisations who have co-badged the report, such as the British Oncology Pharmacy Association, the UK Clinical Pharmacy Association, Association of Pharmacy Technicians and the College of Mental Health Pharmacy.

It looks at current and future roles for pharmacy professionals in genomic medicine across many aspects of practice such as person-centred care and collaboration, professional practice, education, leadership, management and research.

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in the UK have already established roles in the application of genomic medicine in some areas of practice, such as antimicrobial stewardship and infectious diseases, and the management of certain genetic conditions, such as cystic fibrosis.

The society believes, the current role of pharmacy professionals in genomics can be expanded upon in the future to both lead and support many relevant aspects of genomic implementation. These are described across all healthcare sectors, within the Genome UK strategy produced by the UK Government, and within the implementation plans published in EnglandScotland and Wales.

Lead for Pharmacogenomics at RPS Sophie Harding said: “Pharmacy professionals are the gatekeepers of medication safety and efficacy across all areas of healthcare. They are skilled at interpreting complex scientific data and use evidence-based medicine to maximise the benefits of treatments for patients, whilst supporting shared decision-making with patients and the multidisciplinary team.

“By incorporating genomic information across all areas of their practice, pharmacy professionals can help identify patients who may benefit from certain targeted treatments or alternative treatment options or be at risk of adverse drug reactions.

RPS President Professor Claire Anderson said: “The mainstreaming of genomics into routine clinical practice will have a significant impact on all healthcare professional groups, including pharmacy.

“Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are well placed to fulfil a wide range of roles in genomic medicine and there are significant opportunities for new approaches to patient care.”

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