November 18, 2019
As our understanding of the human genome has increased, we have begun to realize that patients’ bodies interact with medications uniquely based on their individual genetic makeup. Through the use of pharmacogenetic (PGx) testing, healthcare providers can see how a patient is likely to process, metabolize, and react to specific medications. With knowledge of the patient’s genetic profile, medication therapy can be personalized with medication and dose carefully selected to gain maximum benefit with the least risk of harm.
Pharmacists have a tremendous opportunity right now to increase value in patient care by leveraging PGx testing for select patients. They are already implementing dose adjustments, identifying drug interactions, interpreting therapeutic drug monitoring and calculating kidney function. Recommending and/or scheduling pharmacogenetic (PGx) testing where clinically indicated then following up by recommending a drug and dosage regimen that matches the patient’s specific genetic profile fits well in the pharmacists’ skill set and role in the multidisciplinary patient care team.
Pharmacists in other countries like the Netherlands and Canada are already using PGx testing in this way. They identify patients who have experienced lack of efficacy or adverse reactions, explain what is involved in the test, in some cases collect the sample, and then use the results to make recommendations to the prescriber. This proactive, personalized, approach helps patients receive effective care sooner, which both lowers costs and increases patient satisfaction.
To reap the full benefit of personalized medicine through use of PGx testing, pharmacists and healthcare providers must receive appropriate education, training, work closely together. Access to clinical decision support systems and comprehensive medical records is also critical. A common challenge is a lack of system interoperability to exchange health information. In many cases pharmacists and physicians are maintaining separate sets of records that must now be combined for efficient and effective care. Systems that integrate this data and facilitate care team communications can quickly resolve this challenge.
hc1 PGx Advisor™ brings the laboratory, prescriber, and pharmacists into alignment by combining conventional Medication Therapy Management (MTM), PGx and integrated engagement and monitoring workflows specific to the individual patient. PGx Advisor facilitates pharmacist and prescriber engagement in a comprehensive medication review. Through this collaboration, the test results are interpreted by trained healthcare professionals in the context of a holistic view of the patient.