We welcome The Pharmaceutical Journal‘s new initiative on genomics

As consultant pharmacists and clinical pharmacy leaders within the seven NHS Genomic Medicine Service Alliances (GMSAs) in England, we welcome The Pharmaceutical Journal‘s call for a conversation in pharmacy about genomic medicine through the #PJgenomics project.

We believe that the GMSAs can play an important part in this work to inspire and educate pharmacy professionals and we look forward to working with The Pharmaceutical Journal to support this.

The seven GMSAs were established to embed genomics in to mainstream patient care throughout their regions and provide clinical and scientific leadership to enable all staff across the NHS to use genomics safely, effectively and efficiently.

Each GMSA has a lead pharmacist and chief pharmacist, ensuring a strong pharmacy voice within the genomic services and associated networks, and we are working with pharmacy colleagues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on areas of common interest.

The GMSAs are currently supporting NHS England and NHS Improvement in reviewing and implementing national adoption of DPYD gene testing with fluoropyrimidine therapies 5, alongside projects to increase awareness of — and testing for — familial hypercholesterolaemia and monogenic diabetes, with many projects including pharmacists at their heart, working as part of multidisciplinary teams.

The incorporation of genomics into the General Pharmaceutical Council’s learning outcomes of foundation year pharmacists in 2021/2022 highlights that an individual’s genomic make-up will become an important factor in medicines use alongside clinical therapeutics and pharmacology. With public access to genetic information already available through private testing, we believe a highly skilled pharmacy workforce is essential for providing timely advice to patients.

Additionally, we believe that patient views and patient involvement should form a significant part of the discourse. Furthermore, we would encourage discussion on adoption of international pharmacogenomic dosing recommendations within UK healthcare and the governance around this.

Dharmisha Chauha, pharmacy lead, North Thames GMSA
Lucy Galloway, pharmacy lead, South East GMSA

Nisha Shaunak, pharmacy lead, South East GMSA
Emma Groves, pharmacy lead, North East & Yorkshire GMSA
Jessica Keen, pharmacy lead, North West GMSA
Rachel Palmer, pharmacy lead, South West GMSA
Paul Selby, clinical pharmacy lead, East Genomics (corresponding author)
Hayley Wickens, consultant pharmacist genomic medicine, Central & South GMSA

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, February 2022, Vol 308, No 7958;308(7958)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2022.1.127771

1 comment

  • Graham Phillips

    I too am pleased to note the PJ's interest in genomics but since 99% of our genome in contained in the microbiome you risk missing 99% of the science and the clinical consequences. It is true to say "our genes are not our destiny" (epi-genetics) but it is equally the case (eg from studies of identical twins) that the microbiome plays a fundamental role


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