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PGx helps pharmacists match right Rx to right patient

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Health systems are increasingly turning to pharmacogenomics as a way to enhance therapeutic decision-making. At the 2016 American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions, Larisa H.

Health systems are increasingly turning to pharmacogenomics as a way to enhance therapeutic decision-making. At the 2016 American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions, Larisa H. Cavallari, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS, outlined a preliminary analysis of outcomes data from seven health systems that have been testing for the cytochrome P450 2C19 genotype in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention and using the findings to help direct antiplatelet therapy. Investigators found that approximately 31% of patients had a loss-of-function variant, which limits clopidogrel (Plavix—Bristol-Myers Squibb) activation and effectiveness. Of those, "about 60% were placed on an alternative to clopidogrel," said Cavallari. James M. Hoffman, PharmD, MS, chief patient safety officer at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, said pharmacogenetic information is being used to improve drug therapy at various centers of innovation, and "pharmacists are right at the center of that effort." All patients at St. Jude are approached about having a panel of genes tested, said Hoffman, and the results are uploaded into the hospital's electronic health record. "With just a small number of genes included," he said, "nearly 80% of the patients have had an actionable result."

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