Friday, March 18, 2016

The Wall Street Journal Discusses PGx

An article in the Wall Street Journal this week by Health Editor Melinda Beck called “Is Your Medicine Right for Your Metabolism?” discusses the current state of pharmacogenetics and obstacles to implementation of pharmacogenetics (PGx) in routine clinical care. The article and an accompanying video explain that variations in enzymes can drastically alter the metabolism of many commonly prescribed medications and may affect drug response, efficacy, and safety. The article goes on to discuss how some professional medical groups have hesitated to implement PGx testing because of insufficient evidence from large randomized controlled trials, but it also highlights medical research centers such as Vanderbilt University, the University of Pittsburgh, the Mayo Clinic, and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital that are currently implementing PGx testing into care. Information about FDA approved drug labels mentioned in the article as well as detailed information about all of the genes and drugs discussed in the article can be found by searching PharmGKB. In addition, some of the cited gene-drug pair interactions such as CYP2D6 and codeine, clopidogrel and CYP2C19, warfarin and CYP2C9, and statins and SLCO1B1, are also the subjects of Clinical Pharmacogenetic Implementation Consortium (CPIC) dosing guidelines, which are available on the CPIC and PharmGKB websites.  For more information about research institutions currently implementing pharmacogenomics, see the lists on the PharmGKB and CPIC websites.

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