Background Pharmacogenetic (PGx) testing may enhance patients’ confidence in the safety and efficacy of prescribed medications.
Purpose To evaluate public perception of PGx testing.
Material and methods A self-administered questionnaire was developed and psychometrically evaluated using a two round Delphi technique for validation and test–retest for reliability. The questionnaire consisted of two sections (A and B) with a total of 20 questions. Section A dealt with general questions about PGx testing and section B focused on participants’ willingness towards PGx testing. Following ethics approval, 500 participants were recruited by convenience sampling over 6 weeks (June and July 2016); 250 from public places in 11 different localities and 250 from 5 community pharmacies in different localities. Participants in health oriented occupations were excluded. Descriptive statistics were calculated with IBM SPSS V.23.
Results Of the 500 participants, the majority (61%) were women, mean age was 45 years (range 18–86 years) and most (37%) were educated to post-secondary level. The majority (85%) were not aware of the term PGx testing. Following an explanation by the investigator, most participants indicated that they would be ‘very willing’ to have a PGx test performed to assess the effectiveness (37%) and safety (39%) of their prescribed medications and the majority (51%) ‘strongly agreed’ that a PGx test would prevent them from taking an inappropriate drug or dose. The majority (70%) of participants identified drugs to treat cancer as the drug class for which they perceived PGx testing to be most important. The majority (67%) of participants selected the physician as the professional who should perform the test. As regards the preferred location to have the test performed, the majority (61%) selected the hospital. When asked about the cost of PGx testing, most (42%) participants thought the test should be free of charge. As regards time for result, the majority (56%) of participants would expect to have the result within a few days. Most participants (40%) ‘strongly agreed’ that PGx testing should be performed routinely.
Conclusion Participants in this study had a positive overall perception of PGx testing and presented expectations of PGx testing as a means to assess efficacy and safety of prescribed medications.
No conflict of interest
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