Treatment of diseases is now advancing to a more personalized approach. Personalized medicine is based on a person's genetic response to drugs. Genetic data helps doctors and scientists understand the effectiveness and safety of drugs used on patients. The combination of the science of drug treatment and the study of genes and their functions is referred to as pharmacogenomics.
A patient's pharmacogenomics profile helps in targeted medicine, ensuring the best treatment outcomes and safety. Studies have shown that the efficacy of drugs varies from person to person. It is difficult to predict how a drug will respond to a patient. To some patients, drugs are very effective, and to others, they react negatively. Pharmacogenomics or personalized medicine should be implemented in an institution for effective treatment.
You need the following to implement a pharmacogenomics treatment program in your institution:
- Selection of an appropriate clinical Referencing lab
It is the most important step in implementing and incorporating a pharmacogenomics program in your patient care. Many labs perform genotyping. Consider the following when looking for a referencing lab.
- Look at whether the specific genotype assay that you require is performed at the lab.
- Consider the number of other genotype variants that can be analyzed at the lab.
- Cost of doing the tests
- Recommendations by the clinician
- The technical support offered by the referencing lab.
- Reporting of results
Laboratories also play a vital role in helping physicians order and interpret pharmacogenomic results. They assist in the use of genomic decision-making tools within the institution. The final decision-making considers the patient's current medication, pharmacogenomic profile, and other elements. It helps to
match the most appropriate drug considering the patient's genetic data.
- Providing Education and Training to the staff, physicians, and patients
It is crucial to train your physicians on the tests that may be suitable and those that may not be. They also need training in interpreting the results to enable the prescription of drugs. A key challenge for implementing a pharmacogenomic testing program is providing adequate education to physicians regarding what tests may reveal and what they will not, how to interpret the results, and how to integrate findings into clinical care.
Education should be continual to equip physicians. Many leading healthcare institutions incorporating pharmacogenomic programs in their patient care use websites to give information. The information includes the genes being tested, literature, and videos on pharmacogenomics. They give contacts on who is to be reached for more information.
Having personnel or professionals with knowledge and training in human genetics and pharmacology is vital. They provide information, support, and interpretation needed during the pharmacogenomic program's implementation.
- Developing an Information Technology Framework
The traditional reporting of laboratory reports relied mainly on paperwork. In recent times, pharmacogenomic results have been communicated through pharmacogenomic-based application systems. They are designed to ensure security and interoperability while exchanging information.
Several considerations must be considered when implementing an IT system to support pharmacogenomic programming. The lab evaluates the clinical pathway for the introduction of pharmacogenomic testing in the current IT system. They also do the mapping of the workflow and processes.