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Pharmacogenetics: Has the Time Come for Pharmacists to Embrace and Implement the Science?

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Pharmacogenetics—the study of interindividual differences in medication response as a result of genetic variations—has emerged as a potentially useful tool for individualizing medication regimens for patients. Genetic variations can affect drug disposition inseveral ways, from modifying receptor sensitivities to impacting drug metabolism. Over the last several years, the Food and Drug Administration has been steadily including pharmacogenetic information in drug labeling for several commonly prescribed drugs. Several organizations are attempting to provide evidence-based guidelines for widespread implementation and interpretation. Pharmacists, armed with knowledge of drug metabolism pathways and drug-gene interactions, are uniquely positioned to play an active role in the education, provision, and clinical implementation of pharmacogenetics.

Keywords: APhA = American Pharmacists Association; BRAF = V-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B; CDC = Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; CYP450 = Cytochrome P450; Clinical utility; Cytochrome P450 enzymes; DPD = Dihydropyrimidinedehydrogenase; Evidence-based guidelines; FDA = Food and Drug Administration; Genotype; HER2 = Human epidermal growth factor 2; HIPAA = Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act; Human Genome Project; Metabolizer; NHGRI = National Human Genome Research Institute; NIH = National Institutes of Health; PCI = Percutaneous coronary intervention; Pharmacogenetics; Pharmacogenomics; Phenotype; Polymorphism; RCT = Randomized Controlled Trial; TPMT = Thiopurine S-methyltransferase; UGT = Uridine 5’-diphosphoglucuronosyltransferase

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2013-11-01

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  • The Consultant Pharmacist® is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. It is dedicated exclusively to the medication needs of the elderly in all settings, including adult day care, ambulatory care, assisted living, community, hospice, and nursing facilities. This award-winning journal is a member benefit of ASCP. Individuals who are not members and wish to receive The Consultant Pharmacist® will want to consider joining ASCP.
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