Pharmacists can help lead the way to personalized healthcare

October 20, 2011

Pharmacists are in the perfect position to tailor drug therapies to individual patients and subpopulations using pharmacogenomic data, reported a white paper published online October 14 in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.

Pharmacists can play a lead role in the move toward personalized healthcare. Working collaboratively with physician colleagues, pharmacists are in the perfect position to tailor drug therapies to individual patients and subpopulations using pharmacogenomic data, reported a white paper published online October 14 in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.

“Pharmacists have the potential to become integral players in the personalized health care paradigm,” the authors wrote. “Their keen awareness of drug-drug interactions and drug metabolism make pharmacists indispensible resources when considering treatment choices. If a patient with a genetic variant is at risk for adverse drug effects, the pharmacist can suggest dosage adjustments, alternative drugs, or anticipate and manage potential adverse effects.”

The white paper, “Integrating pharmacogenomics into pharmacy practice via medication therapy management,” was produced under the auspices of the American Pharmacists Association. It culled information from the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Personalized Health Care Initiative, FDA pharmacogenomics activity, and findings from a workshop titled “Utilizing E-Prescribing Technologies to Integrate Pharmacogenomics into Prescribing and Dispensing Practices Stakeholder.”

In their assessment, the authors noted that drug manufacturers and FDA have already begun to incorporate pharmacogenomic data into drug development, labeling, and the approval processes; therefore, new applications and processes for using this emerging data are needed to effectively integrate this information into clinical practice.

The challenge, they added, is dissemination of data among healthcare providers. The authors concluded that pharmacogenomics has great potential to enhance healthcare delivery. Furthermore, the pharmacy profession, as a healthcare-industry leader in electronic connectivity, is positioned to define a process for effectively delivering pharmacogenomic services to patients in a way that is aligned with MTM service delivery, as well as to develop a viable business model for these practices and to encourage and direct the development of health information technology solutions that support the pharmacist’s role in this emerging field.

Full-text articles are available free of charge at the Journal’s website, www.japha.org.

Related Content:

Health System