The recently published report by the British Pharmacological Society and the Royal College of Physicians encourages use of pharmacogenomic testing across the NHS to improve patient outcomes.
According to the report, testing patients for genetic variations that affect how their body will respond to common medicines must be integrated fully, fairly and swiftly into the NHS.
Personalised prescribing: using pharmacogenomics to improve patient outcomes report explains how pharmacogenomic testing should be deployed across the NHS to ensure all patients have an equal chance of being prescribed a medicine at a dose that is likely to be safe and effective for them.
Commenting on the publication, Ravi Sharma, director for England at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, who was on the report’s working group, said: “This important report, produced by a joint working party involving RPS, highlights the pivotal role that pharmacists play in the successful implementation of pharmacogenomics services across England, Scotland and Wales.
“We have seen huge progress across England with NHS Genomic Medicine Service Alliances set up that oversee and coordinate the embedding of genomics into mainstream clinical care in seven regions.
“Pharmacists have the knowledge, skills and abilities to provide the precision dosing and therapeutic drug monitoring that connects genomic testing with medicines optimisation, and so will play a central part in delivering the advances in personalised medicine that are set to revolutionise patient care.
“Pharmacy teams across the whole system have a critical role to play, particularly in primary care where most prescribing and dispensing takes place for patients. We want to see infrastructure established to create a pharmacogenomics service in every Integrated Care System in England, as recommended in the report, with pharmacists playing a critical leadership role in the multidisciplinary team embedded into clinical pathways across specialties to inform care for individual patients.
“Appropriate workforce planning for current and future generations of the pharmacy workforce is key to achieving this, so the full potential of providing pharmacogenomics care across settings can be realised. The future is within reach and the impact of integrated working, improved care, reduced medicines-related admissions to hospital and better benefits for patients from their medicines through pharmacogenomics is a truly exciting and inspiring prospect.”