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Focus on genetic screening by hospital pharmacists
  1. Mary W Roederer
  1. Correspondence to Dr M W Roederer, UNC Institute for Pharmacogenomics and Individualized Therapy, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, USA; mroederer{at}

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Personalised medicine, tailored therapy or individualised therapy are all terms used to describe providing the best drug at the best dose to the right patient and include using pharmacogenomics, or the study of genetic related differences in an individual's drug response. There are several excellent examples of the clinical application of pharmacogenomics and the use of pharmacogenomics information in drug prescribing information approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) or the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For example, both the EMEA1 and the FDA2 include HLA-B*5701 genotype in the prescribing information to prevent abacavir hypersensitivity drug reaction based on information from large clinical trials.3 4

If the genetic test results are available (pre-emptive testing), then the pharmacist can consider the potential drug–gene interactions. If the test result is not available, a pharmacist considers the relevant pharmacogenomic test that may advise drug response. It is essential for any clinician to consider the type of test and to verify the availability of the test to the hospital. Many pharmacists may believe that the challenges to evaluating the data and the test and obtaining the test results …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.