Understanding pharmacogenomic testing and its role in medicine prescribing
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Understanding pharmacogenomic testing and its role in medicine prescribing

Essra Youssef Pharmacist Researcher, School of Pharmacy, University of East Anglia, Norwich, England
Jackie Buck Lecturer in Adult Nursing and Research, School of Health Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, England
David John Wright Professor in Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy, University of East Anglia, Norwich, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand the principles of pharmacogenomic testing

  • To be aware of how pharmacogenomic testing can inform prescribing decisions

  • To familiarise yourself with the role of nurses in pharmacogenomic testing

When making prescribing decisions, it is important for healthcare professionals to remember that individual patients may respond differently to medicines. For example, some patients may experience a therapeutic benefit while others may experience an adverse drug reaction. The aim of personalised medicine is to tailor treatment based not only on a patient’s clinical factors, but also on their genetic profile. Pharmacogenomics is a branch of personalised medicine that is concerned with how differences in people’s genomes affect their response to medicines. Pharmacogenomic testing, which recently has become less expensive and increasingly available, can inform nurses’ prescribing decisions and improve patient outcomes. This article discusses personalised medicine and pharmacogenomics, including how pharmacogenomic testing can optimise medicine prescribing, and explains the role of nurses in the process.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11543

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software




Conflict of interest

David John Wright and Essra Youssef are engaged in a research collaboration with MyDNA Life Australia Limited, but have no financial interests in the company. Jackie Buck has no conflict of interest.

Youssef E, Buck J, Wright DJ (2020) Understanding pharmacogenomic testing and its role in medicine prescribing. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11543

Published online: 11 June 2020

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