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sector_ico_Health_trans Human Health

Integrating Pediatric Pharmacogenomic Testing into the Canadian Health Care System

  • Project Leaders: Bruce Carleton, Yvan Cote
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $2960416
  • Program/Competition: Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP)
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome Canada
  • Fiscal Year: 2016
  • Status: Closed

Pharmacogenomics is the study of how an individual’s genes affect their ability to respond to medications (drugs). This project has developed and implemented pharmacogenomic testing to predict the outcomes of drug therapy. The outcomes investigated in this project were the likelihood of experiencing a side effect and a drug failing to achieve its desired effect.

Pharmacogenomic testing panels were created for the most frequently prescribed medication classes (antibiotics, pain medications, and mental health medications) based on pharmacogenomic recommendations on drug labels, or based on published, peer reviewed Clinical Practice Guidelines written by pharmacogenomic experts, or clinically meaningful pharmacogenomic findings replicated in at least three independent populations. Pilot studies were completed in British Columbia, Ontario, and Québec to determine how the tests and results were perceived and utilized by clinicians, pharmacists, patients, and families.

The pharmacogenomic testing panels, which can now provide results for 53 gene-drug pairs, have been transitioned from the teams R&D laboratory to Dynacare’s accredited clinical laboratory. In addition, Dynacare has implemented an automation process for the scale-up and commercialization of the testing panels. Dynacare has generated marketing materials for this product and investigated the possibility of reimbursement for easier implementation. A curriculum was developed to educate clinicians and pharmacists on the interpretation of pharmacogenomic results. This product will help Canadians understand their risk of experiencing an adverse drug reaction or not responding to medication. These tests will help patients, physicians, and pharmacists make responsible decisions when prescribing medications.