Pharmacogenomics pilot gains backing from NACDS

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In recent years, pharmacogenomics — the study of how preventive and therapeutic health care can be driven by an individual’s genetics — has garnered increased attention from the retail pharmacy sector.

Now the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation wants to get a better idea of how pharmacogenomics can have an impact at the community pharmacy level.

Manchester University Pharmacy Program pharmacogenomics

David Kisor and Diane Calinski of the Manchester University Pharmacy Program’s pharmaceutical sciences department prepare to test a DNA sample.

On Thursday, the NACDS Foundation said it awarded a $60,000 research grant to the Manchester University Pharmacy Program in Fort Wayne, Ind., to translate pharmacogenomics to impact patient care.

Working with pharmacogenomics research company RxGenomix, the MU Pharmacy Program will use grant funds to develop and launch a pilot to assess the impact of pharmacogenomics on pharmacy patient care.

“We are pleased to support this important research project with RxGenomix and the Manchester University Pharmacy Program to employ new innovations in technology to help advance pharmacy patient care,” commented NACDS Foundation president Kathleen Jaeger.

Specifically, the project will provide pharmacogenomics services in community pharmacies, including collection of DNA samples, interpretation of patient results, counseling and collaboration with prescribers to help optimize patient medication regimens.

“Pharmacists clearly have a leading role to play in the appropriate application of pharmacogenomics in patient care. Education of pharmacists to best implement pharmacogenomics services and to educate other health care professionals and the public is critical. This study works towards that end,” stated David Kisor, professor and chair of pharmaceutical sciences at the Manchester University Pharmacy Program.

According to RxGenomix, 17 of the top 200 medications now on the market — including two of the top 10 — list pharmacogenomic testing recommendations on their package labeling.

Among the medications for which pharmacogenomic testing would be beneficial, RxGenomix said, are allopurinol, amitriptyline, azathioprine, capecitabine, carbamazepine, clopidogrel, codeine, desipramine, doxepin, fluorouracil, imipramine, ivacaftor, mercaptopurine, nortriptyline, peginterferon alfa-2a/2b, phenytoin, rasburicase, simvastatin, tacrolimus, tegafur, telaprevir, thioguanine, trimipramine and warfarin.

Each year, more than 360 million prescriptions for medications are related to pharmacogenomics information, the NACDS Foundation reported, adding that the number of medications with identified genetic influences is expected to climb as the Food and Drug Administration and the pharmaceutical sector work to incorporate more pharmacogenomic testing in drug development.

“Pharmacogenomics is the next frontier in patient care and patient safety with medication use. Utilizing advanced technologies to harness genetic information can help identify the right treatments that are specific to the patient,” Jaeger added. “The science of pharmacogenomics is rapidly evolving and can substantially influence patients’ medication regimens and ultimate health outcomes.”


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