This site is intended for Healthcare Professionals only

genetics, helix_spread.jpg

Pharmacogenomics: an update

This module aims to update community pharmacists' knowledge of pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics, and how they explain the variations seen in drug responses.

The module considers how genetic factors can contribute to the variability of response to medicines sometimes seen in clinical practice, how NHS use of pre-emptive pharmacogenomic testing may develop and ethical concerns related to DNA tests and pharmacogenomic screening. 

It is an updated version of a CPD learning module first published in August 2020.

Key facts

  • Pharmacogenetics — and the closely related pharmaco-genomics — are terms used to describe how genetic factors can cause variation in the effectiveness and safety of drugs
  • Personalised or precision medicine enables the use of genetic information to target healthcare to achieve best outcomes for individuals
  • Azathioprine and mercaptopurine are examples of how understanding of genetic variation in drug metabolism can be used to determine appropriate drug dosing
  • Pre-emptive DNA tests that give information on predicted drug responses are increasingly available for patients to purchase from pharmacies and online in the UK.

Contributing authors: Dr Martin Duerden FRCGP, co-author of Symptoms in the Pharmacy, with contributions from Alison Blenkinsopp

Copy Link copy link button